Agricultural/Financial correspondent
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Jan 26, 2011

CFTC sues 14 foreign currency firms in major sweep

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission on Wednesday sued 14 firms that it alleged illegally solicited investors to participate in foreign currency transactions.

In its first crackdown since new enforcement powers went into effect in October, the futures regulator said the firms were operating without being registered as foreign exchange dealers with the agency.

Jan 26, 2011

CFTC eyes reports from funds, pools, advisors

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. futures regulator unveiled two rules on Wednesday to require funds, commodity pools and commodity trading advisors to file reports to regulators on their operations, part of a sweeping series of Wall Street reforms.

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s rules mirror a plan proposed on Tuesday by the Securities and Exchange Commission, but also seek to gather more data from some players who had been exempt from filing reports with regulators.

Jan 20, 2011

CFTC unveils plan to treat agricultural swaps like others

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. futures regulator unveiled a plan on Thursday that would treat agricultural swaps just like other over-the-counter derivatives, a move that would open up the market to a wider range of participants.

Under the plan, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission would remove existing requirements that traders of agricultural swaps — used by buyers and sellers of farm goods to protect against the risk of price movements — have a net worth of at least $10 million.

Jan 7, 2011

Analysis: CFTC “position points” lack bite of hard limits

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The largest speculators in U.S. commodity markets have little to fear from a new plan by their regulator for heightened surveillance — a precursor to position limits that won’t likely force anyone to exit trades.

Traders such as Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan and Morgan Stanley will likely get extra questions about their over-the-counter swaps from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission when they exceed certain complex thresholds in 28 energy, metals and agricultural futures markets.

Jan 6, 2011

CFTC’s Sommers expects limits plan to move forward

WASHINGTON, Jan 6 (Reuters) – The Commodity Futures Trading
Commission likely has enough votes to advance a proposal to
limit speculative positions in commodity markets to the next
stage, said Jill Sommers, a Republican commissioner, in an
interview with Reuters Insider. The CFTC introduced its long-awaited plan to quell speculation for the metals, agriculture and energy markets on Dec. 16, but postponed a vote on releasing it for public comment because of internal dissent among the agency's five commissioners. Sommers, a critic of the regulators' efforts on position limits, said the plan could be approved by commissioners before their next public meeting on Jan. 13, but said it has not yet come to her for a vote. <^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Reuters Insider interview with Sommers: link.reuters.com/bur84r Take a Look on CFTC's push for new limits: [ID:nCFTCREG] ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^> Earlier this week, Bart Chilton -- the most vocal proponent at the CFTC for cracking down on speculators in commodities -- said he had lifted his objections to the plan, paving the way for approval. The CFTC has conceded it will miss a mid-January deadline to implement position limits that was stipulated in the Dodd-Frank bank reform law, which gives the agency oversight of the over-the-counter derivatives market, valued at $600 trillion globally. Sommers said the next phase of the CFTC's Dodd-Frank rule-making process -- where it must consider public comments and finalize rules -- will be more challenging for the agency. She also said it will be difficult for the CFTC to implement rules without hiring new staff. The agency has not yet received a hike in its budget from Congress that it needs to add staff to its ranks. (Reporting by Roberta Rampton and Christopher Doering; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

Jan 4, 2011

CFTC’s position limit plan gains needed support

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A top official at the U.S. futures regulator said on Tuesday he was now in favor of a stalled position limit plan, a key turnaround that would allow the controversial rules to advance to the public comment stage.

On December 16, the CFTC introduced its long-awaited plan to curb speculation in the metals, agriculture and energy markets but at the meeting, Chairman Gary Gensler abruptly postponed a vote on the proposal.

Dec 29, 2010

Nutrition labels for meat, poultry by 2012: USDA

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Nutritional labels will be mandatory on 40 popular cuts of meat and poultry products beginning in 2012, a measure the U.S. Agriculture Department said on Wednesday will make it easier for consumers to understand the content of the foods they buy.

USDA said the nutritional information will be required for major cuts of raw, single-ingredient meat and poultry products. These include whole or boneless chicken breasts, beef whole cuts such as brisket or tenderloin steak, and hamburger and ground turkey.

Dec 29, 2010

Meat, poultry to have nutrition labels by 2012: USDA

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Nutritional labels will be mandatory on 40 popular cuts of meat and poultry products beginning in 2012, a measure the U.S. Agriculture Department said on Wednesday will make it easier for consumers to understand the content of the foods they buy.

USDA said the nutritional information will be required for major cuts of raw, single-ingredient meat and poultry products. These include whole or boneless chicken breasts, beef whole cuts such as brisket or tenderloin steak, and hamburger and ground turkey.

Dec 28, 2010

CFTC anti-manipulation regulations must be clear: trade groups

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Several financial industry trade groups said on Tuesday that the Commodity Futures Trading Commission risks causing confusion and reducing legitimate trading practices if it fails to clearly outline what practices are prohibited under its new anti-manipulation authority.

The Futures Industry Association, the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association and the International Swaps and Derivatives Associations said in a joint letter the CFTC must describe legitimate trading practices with those it has determined can lead to market manipulation.

Dec 21, 2010

House passes reform of food safety system

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The ailing U.S. food safety system moved closer on Tuesday toward its biggest overhaul in more than 70 years after the House of Representatives passed legislation that would increase inspections and give regulators the power to recall tainted foods.

The House voted 215-144 to pass a food safety bill. The legislation has already been passed by the Senate and will now be sent to President Barack Obama, who has supported the measure and is expected to sign it into law.

    • About Christopher

      "Currently based in Washington, Christopher reports on agriculture in Congress and the U.S. Agriculture Department. He also is actively involved in covering regulatory reform, with a focus on the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission."
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