Agricultural/Financial correspondent
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Jun 16, 2010

U.S. regulator okays first movie futures contract

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. regulators on Monday approved a plan to allow Media Derivatives Inc to offer futures contracts tied to receipts of box office films, despite opposition from Hollywood studios.

“The Commission found that the contracts are based on commodities, are not readily susceptible to manipulation and serve an economic hedging purpose,” the futures regulator said in its split decision.

Jun 4, 2010

From fax machines to quants: CFTC seeks reboot

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Scott O’Malia’s early exposure to cutting-edge technology was a primitive Apple computer and a prototype laptop “as big as a sewing machine”.

Now he’s grappling with the complexities of sub-millisecond trades and terahertz processors, seeking strategies to out-fox programmers and computer-aided algorithmic traders.

Jun 3, 2010

CFTC to scrutinize high-frequency trading-O’Malia

WASHINGTON, June 3 (Reuters) – The U.S. futures market
regulator will look hard at whether to impose new rules to
limit high-frequency and algorithmic trading strategies that
threaten to distort prices, a top official told Reuters on
Thursday.

In his first major interview since taking over a revived
Commodity Futures Trading Commission group that will study
rapidly evolving technology in futures markets, Scott O’Malia
said his group would ask “tough questions.” In particular, he
vowed scrutiny of the practice of “baiting” the market by using
small-volume trades to drive prices in one direction.

May 27, 2010

US govt warns of worst hurricane season since 2005

WASHINGTON, May 27 (Reuters) – The Atlantic storm season
may be the most intense since 2005 when Hurricane Katrina
killed over a thousand and disrupted oil production by crashing
through Gulf of Mexico energy facilities, the U.S. government’s
top weather agency predicted on Thursday.

In its first forecast for the storm season that begins next
Tuesday, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
forecast 14 to 23 named storms, with 8 to 14 developing into
hurricanes, nearly matching 2005′s record of 15.

May 27, 2010

Government warns of worst hurricane season since 2005

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Atlantic storm season may be the most intense since 2005, when Hurricane Katrina killed thousands after crashing through Gulf of Mexico energy facilities, the U.S. government’s top climate agency predicted on Thursday.

In its first forecast for the storm season that begins next Tuesday, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration forecast 14 to 23 named storms, with 8 to 14 developing into hurricanes, nearly matching 2005′s record of 15.

May 24, 2010

U.S. regulators may never pinpoint May 6 crash cause

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. regulators may never know what caused a recent market free-fall and still have not found evidence that trading errors or system malfunctions triggered the brief swoon, top futures markets regulators said on Monday.

More than two weeks after the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost nearly 700 points in minutes before recovering, regulators continue to search for clues.

May 24, 2010

Regulators may never pinpoint cause of market crash

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. regulators may never know what caused the recent market crash and still have not found evidence trading errors or system malfunctions triggered the brief free fall, top futures markets regulators said on Monday.

More than two weeks after the Dow Jones Industrial average lost nearly 700 points in minutes before recovering, regulators and exchange operators are still searching for answers.

May 20, 2010

China now top U.S. ag export market: Vilsack

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – China bought more than $10 billion in U.S. farm goods in the first six months of the year to become the country’s No 1 agricultural export market, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack said on Thursday.

In an interview with Reuters, Vilsack said farm exports during the first half of fiscal 2010 totaled $59 billion, “the best six months ag trade has had.” With the strong start, the U.S. Department of Agriculture will probably raise its forecast of sales for the year, he said.

May 20, 2010

China surges to No 1 U.S. farm export market: Vilsack

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – China bought more than $10 billion of U.S. farm exports in the first six months of the fiscal year to become the country’s No. 1 buyer, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said on Thursday.

During an interview with Reuters, Vilsack said U.S. farm exports during the first half of fiscal 2010 totaled $59 billion, “the best six months ag trade has had.” With the strong start, the Agriculture Department probably will raise its forecast of sales for the year, he added.

May 18, 2010

Regulators still at loss on market plunge

WASHINGTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) – Regulators still have not been able to pinpoint the cause of the market’s recent plunge, but charged ahead with new rules to restrict trading when markets are in free-fall.

Nearly two weeks after the Dow Jones industrial average dropped some 700 points within minutes, regulators are grappling with half a dozen working hypotheses and have not ruled out anything.

    • 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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