• CFTC

    You Will Have Gary Gensler to Kick Around (For a While)

    President Obama has decided that CFTC chief Gary Gensler, unlike most of his first-term economic team, is worth keeping around. Gary Gensler agrees. Now if only they could figure out in what capacity.

    / Mar 6, 2013 at 2:59 PM
  • I have no burning desire to put up a picture of Byrnes or Curtin, though you can find at least Byrnes on LinkedIn. Bart Chilton was quoted about this case, as he is about every CFTC case, because he is the CFTC's mascot.


    CFTC Sues CME Customer Service Representatives For Providing Overly Enthusiastic Customer Service

    One thing that people like to say is that insider trading in commodities is just fine. It’s the point, even: the main people – if some politicians had their way, the only people – who trade in commodities are the people growing them, or digging them out of the ground, or whatever one does to […]

    / Feb 22, 2013 at 12:34 PM
  • There's a long discussion of giant centipedes. Also high-frequency trading and position limits. It is wall-to-wall bonkers.


    CFTC Commissioner Bart Chilton’s Degree In Folklore And Mythology Proves Surprisingly Practical

    Finally, boys and girls, I want to tell you a bit about a children’s story. Once upon a time in a faraway land there lived a sweet young maid named Little Red Riding Hood—yeah, her. … Now, ye of little faith, before you think I’ve stopped carrying on your wayward son from futures, markets, Massive […]

    / Feb 13, 2013 at 5:36 PM
  • Bart Chilton: On The Case


    RBS’s Seating Arrangements Deprived The World Of Untold Embarrassing IM Conversations

    It’s getting to be a struggle to be amused by Libor manipulation chats. RBS took its lumps today, and the CFTC and FSA orders are full of quotes, and you can read them in various round-ups, but, meh. Even Bart Chilton is bored; today’s imagery (“sends a signal to those who would monkey around with […]

    / Feb 6, 2013 at 1:34 PM
  • Actual numbers: Fixed/Libor = $32,605mm; Fixed/FF = $1,035mm; Fixed/Other = $297mm; Libor/FF = $1,058mm; Libor/Other = $294mm. Total is $35,289mm of notional.


    New Reporting Requirements Let You Watch Swaps Trading In Fake-Real-Time, If That Sounds Like Something You’d Like

    What should we do with the new real-time swaps data depository? As of the new year, the CFTC is requiring all swaps dealers to report their swaps trades in real time, starting with rates and credit index trades, and here is the data depository with those (anonymized) reports. It’s … not particularly real-time! It’s not […]

    / Jan 4, 2013 at 6:24 PM
  • Financial violations, hurtling.


    Sometimes UBS Traders Manipulated Libor Just To Mess With Each Other

    The last of the UBS Libor settlements to come out was the U.S. one and it has some of the best quotes. There’s the yen swaps trader who said “I live and die by these libors, even dream about them.” There’s … I mean, there is the life and career of Bart Chilton, in toto; […]

    / Dec 19, 2012 at 3:50 PM


    Study Suggests High Frequency Trading Might Cost Small Investors Almost One One-Hundredth Of One Percent Of Their Investments

    What do you think of the big HFT study? It’s this big HFT study that CFTC chief economist Andrei Kirilenko conducted on S&P 500 e-mini futures at the CME, and it’s already inspired a metaphor from CFTC commissioner and all-purpose spinner of metaphors Bart Chilton: Mr. Chilton said that the study would make it easier […]

    / Dec 4, 2012 at 10:02 AM
  • Wait, this isn't my Intrade account, this is my 401(k).


    Now You Can’t Buy Your Crude Oil Futures In $10 Increments On Intrade

    Like a lot of people I got an email yesterday telling me to close my Intrade account. This will not be a problem for me because: Now I know it looks like I was terrible at predicting the election, but the real explanation is of course that I was astutely predicting the end of Intrade […]

    / Nov 27, 2012 at 11:13 AM
  • A lot to think about.


    House Subcommittee Has Some Suggestions For The Next Time Jon Corzine Runs A Financial Services Company

    This House Financial Services investigations subcommittee hatchet job on MF Global is, I don’t know, pretty reasonable and not-that-hatchety? It’s 100 pages and not exactly full of new news, but it’s a good read, stuff happens, there’s a clear story arc, heros and villains (kidding, just villains), you’re in suspense until the end. There’s some […]

    / Nov 16, 2012 at 11:33 AM
  • News

    Guy Who Was Fired By Goldman Sachs For Amassing “Inappropriately Large” Position Welcomed With Open Arms At Morgan Stanley

    Back in December 2007, things weren’t going so well for Matthew Marshall Taylor. He’d just been fired from Goldman Sachs and not only was he out of a job, but his prospects for finding a new one didn’t look so hot, on account of the fact that Goldman planned to put a note in his file detailing the reason he’d been let go– “for building an ‘inappropriately large’ proprietary trading position”– and it seemed unlikely anyone at the firm would be open to serving as a reference for him moving forward.  Three months later, however, one bank told MMT that there was room for him at their inn. Morgan Stanley, apparently having decided the incident at Goldman was but an asterisk in what would be a long and fruitful career, told Taylor to come on down, employing him for over four years until he left in July of his own accord and not because of any legal issues relating to his work at Goldman Sachs.

    Taylor was accused yesterday by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission of concealing an $8.3 billion position in 2007 that caused Goldman Sachs to lose $118 million. Goldman Sachs fired Taylor in December 2007 and cited “alleged conduct related to inappropriately large proprietary futures positions in a firm trading account,” in a so-called U-5 form, according to a Financial Industry Regulatory Authority document. Morgan Stanley, which had employed Taylor before he joined Goldman in 2005, re-hired him in March 2008, according to the records.

    Taylor, who handled client-related equity derivative trading at Morgan Stanley, left the firm in July, according to Mark Lake, a company spokesman in New York. His departure wasn’t related to the CFTC complaint filed against Taylor yesterday in federal court, according to a person familiar with the situation, who requested anonymity because the information is private. Taylor concealed the position by bypassing the firm’s internal system for routing trades to the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and manually entering fabricated futures trades in a different internal system, according to the complaint. Goldman Sachs, which wasn’t identified in the CFTC lawsuit, said Taylor allegedly made the trades while employed at the firm.

    Anyway, since MMT is a free agent at the moment, if any other banks would like to overlook the blip, please do get in touch directly. Citi, BofA? At least just think about it. He was good enough for Morgan Stanley, he should be good enough for you.

    Morgan Stanley Hired Goldman Trader Accused Of Hiding Position [Bloomberg]
    CFTC Charges Matthew Marshall Taylor with Fraud for Fabricating and Concealing Trades from His Employer and Obstructing Their Discovery [CFTC]

    / Nov 9, 2012 at 3:22 PM
  • News

    CFTC’s Exhaustive Internal Review To Determine Whether Or Not Jon Corzine And Chairman Gary Gensler Had A “Too Close” Relationship Reveals Corzine Was The Kind Of Guy To Make A Big Show Of Signing Up For Athletic Events And Coming Up With An Excuse Not To Do Them At The Last Minute, While Gensler Was The Kind To Smirk And Passive Aggressively Ask If You Were “Actually” Going To Do It This Time

    The memo even explored why Gensler ran the New York Marathon with Corzine’s number more than 20 years ago. According to the report, Gensler learned that Corzine had registered to run the 1991 race. Gensler asked Corzine’s secretary if Corzine was actually going to run. Several weeks later, the secretary informed Gensler that Corzine had […]

    / Jul 31, 2012 at 2:05 PM
  • News

    CFTC Commissioner Bart Chilton Uses Public Meeting On Dodd/Frank Rulemaking To Test Out Open Mic Night Bits

    In full:

    “Thank you Mr. Chairman. There are a couple of important events coming up that I want to share with you today. First, tonight the All-Star game will be played. Also, in just 11 days, we’ll have the two-year anniversary of the signing of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. Now, some of you are asking, “How’s he going to put these two totally divergent things together?” It’ll all make sense in a minute. Really.

    First, how many of you have heard of Bryce Harper? He’s the youngest position player ever chosen for an All Star game and plays for what is for many of you, your hometown team, the Washington Nats. He not only has a way with the bat but he seems to have a way with words, too. A couple weeks ago, a reporter asked him what he seemed to think was a silly question, and he responded by saying, “That’s a clown question, bro.” That answer went on T-shirts. It went on late-night TV. It went viral.

    Now, back to Dodd-Frank. There are those who say we don’t need it. Let’s repeal it—or at least parts of it. Let’s de-fund the agencies overseeing it so they can’t enforce it. Heck, let’s just take ‘em to court if we don’t like the line-up. Let’s take our bat and ball and go home. So, here’s the question they seem to be asking: “Do we even need Dodd-Frank?”

    Let’s not even talk about 2008 and the financial collapse and the real reason Dodd-Frank came along in the first place. Let’s talk about how MF Global (as some would suggest) got caught trying to steal. Let’s talk about JPMorgan’s losing streak. Let’s talk about Barclays’ balk. Do we need Dodd-Frank? That’s a clown question, bro.

    So yes, we need rules. We need the funding to enforce them. Plenty of folks still seem to think they can get around the rules. Plenty of folks in this town seem to think we don’t need umpires. Do we? That’s a clown question, bro.”

    That’s A Clown Question, Bro [CFTC]

    / Jul 11, 2012 at 2:50 PM
  • And now we just draw in the arrow for "fraud," and ... done.


    Libor Was Whatever Barclays Wanted It To Be

    Good lord are these Barclays settlements juicy. Basically every day for two years one Barclays trader or another would send an email to their Libor submitter saying “hey let’s commit crimes, tons of crimes, hahahaha” and then they did. In pathetically colorful language: Trader C requested low one month and three month US dollar LIBOR […]

    / Jun 27, 2012 at 12:31 PM
  • News

    I Give Up: What Did RBC Do To Piss Off the CFTC?

    Okay one more from the recent CFTC trilogy: what is up with RBC? Is it the strangest of them all? I’m pretty sure I haven’t earned the right to have an opinion on that, or even a theory, but I have some questions. One is: what was the scam here? I mean, here was the […]

    / Apr 4, 2012 at 6:59 PM
  • News

    Don’t Worry About How JPMorgan Maybe Helped Lehman Overlever Itself By Misusing Customer Money

    Is this JPMorgan Lehman thing a big deal? I mean the thing where JPMorgan used Lehman customer segregated securities as collateral for financing Lehman, allowing Lehman to overextend itself by a bit more than it otherwise would have, in pretty clear violation of the Commodities Exchange Act, although also maybe by accident? And where the […]

    / Apr 4, 2012 at 3:19 PM
  • News

    There’s No Betting Here, This Is A Futures Exchange

    One of the joys of structuring financial products is that, when a regulatory door is closed, a window / chimney / possibility of sawing through a non-load-bearing wall is opened, and you get to look for it, and if you find it you get rich.* So I for one look forward to the response to […]

    / Apr 3, 2012 at 6:55 PM
  • News

    CFTC Makes Sure That MF Global Won’t Be Able To Lose Any Customer Money Other Than The $1.2bn It Already Lost

    I find the “MF Global rule” confusing, and to understand it I have to start with some very basic basics. Let’s say I put money in my account at MF Global, which I want to hold as cash or a cash-like thing, because I need it to provide margin for my futures positions. That money […]

    / Dec 6, 2011 at 3:32 PM
  • News

    If Only MF Global Had Spirited Away Some Customer Money To Fund Its European Trades

    DealBook today dug up some neat stuff on MF Global that, if you let it, will make your head hurt and fuel your conspiracy theories about Goldman alumni: Months before MF Global teetered on the brink, federal regulators were seeking to rein in the types of risky trades that contributed to the firm’s collapse. But […]

    / Nov 4, 2011 at 1:50 PM
  • News

    Vincent McCrudden Wasn’t Being Literal When He Put 47 US Regulators On His ‘To Kill’ List (Even Though He’s Not The Only One Who Wants Them Dead)

    Remember Vincent McCrudden? He’s the guy who arrested in January after years spent threatening to murder, among others, Mary Schapiro, Richard Ketchum, Gary Gensler and various other SEC and CFTC officials. In one email to a CFTC staffer he wrote, “You fucking corrupt piece of shit! I have let so many of you fucking corrupt […]

    / Jul 15, 2011 at 11:11 AM
  • News

    CFTC To Take A Look-See At Goldman Sachs’ Clearing And Execution Division

    Goldman said that it’s been notified of the probe via “oral advisement,” or the action known as “words exiting a human’s mouth,” to the layman.

    / May 10, 2011 at 3:47 PM
  • News

    Former CFTC Chair Wants To Get Paid!

    Former Commodities Exchange chairman Martin Greenberg is suing former NBA star Alonzo Mourning’s charity after he won $1 million for hitting a hole-in-one at its golf tournament — then was denied the prize after it was claimed the course had been improperly shortened. Greenberg hit the hole-in-one at the Alonzo Mourning Charities tournament at Donald Trump’s […]

    / Feb 11, 2011 at 5:09 PM
  • News

    Vincent McCrudden Worried About The Logistics Of Killing 47 US Regulators

    According to the complaint, McCrudden noted on his website, which has since been scrubbed, “There are no good ways to execute this plan. These people have got to go! And I need your help, there are just too many for me alone [.]” (He also provided a list of the people he intended to cross […]

    / Jan 14, 2011 at 2:05 PM
  • News

    Derivatives World About To Get Rude Awakening From CFTC

    The word is out on the Obama administration’s plan for derivative regulation. CFTC Chairman Gary Gensler outlined the plan before the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry today. Derivative dealers can look forward to new rules surrounding, “capital requirements, initial margining requirements, business conduct rules and reporting and record keeping requirements.” In his testimony […]

    / Jun 4, 2009 at 4:23 PM
  • Commodities, rumors

    Commodities Slump As Traders Exchange Rumors Of New Margin Requirements

    Commodities slumped across the board today. Most market watchers are saying that aid for the mortgage markets encouraged some investors to move money from commodities to bonds. But commodities traders had more on their minds than bonds today, as rumors of additional margin requirements made their way across trading desks via instant messaging and phone […]

    / Mar 19, 2008 at 4:07 PM

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