The CFTC and the DOJ both now pursue enforcement actions against trading in commodities based on misappropriation of confidential information.
Among the many changes resulting from the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 (Dodd-Frank Act), one that has been slow to develop, but broad in its significance, is the assertion of authority by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) to police insider trading and misappropriation of confidential information in commodities markets. As the primary regulator for derivatives across a wide range of markets, spanning agriculture, energy, interest rates, and beyond, the CFTC had limited authority to address insider trading throughout most of its history. Starting in 2015, however, the agency began bringing enforcement actions against individuals and companies for trading based on misappropriation of confidential information. Since then, the CFTC has brought a series of actions that provide insight into the scope of its new authority, and it has devoted substantial resources to pursuing new cases. Recent enforcement actions in 2020 and early 2021 have continued this trend.
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