Monday, May 10, 2021

After the Biden Administration’s first 100 days, CFTC leadership remains in holding pattern

By Lene Powell, J.D. and Brad Rosen, J.D.

While the Biden Administration has come flying out of the gate on multiple fronts during its first 100 days—public health, the economy, climate change, and infrastructure among other areas, it has largely ignored the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the independent agency that regulates the nation’s futures and derivatives markets. Unlike over at the SEC, the administration has not yet nominated nor confirmed a permanent chairperson. Moreover, a number of key staff leadership appointments made under the Trump Administration remain in place, and a Republican commissioner whose term expired in April 2020, continues to sit on the Commission. The authors survey the agency’s leadership as well as the overall current landscape at the CFTC in their article segment titled Commodities & Derivatives: The Biden Administration’s first 100 days at the CFTC— the sound of one hand clapping.

The article also examines a number of pressing issues and controversies that the agency will likely be grappling with through the lens of the individual commissioners, by reviewing their public statements and pronouncements. These hot topics include the oversight of cryptocurrency markets, climate change policies, the implementation of the recently adopted position limit rule, the approval of NFL gaming related futures contracts, as well as the Commission’s policy dealing with family offices. Finally, the authors explore the CFTC’s enforcement priorities, which include the Division of Enforcement’s heightened scrutiny of matters involving the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, insider trading, and fraud schemes utilizing digital assets.

For a more comprehensive look at what to expect from the new administration, spanning multiple subject areas, click here to read the Special Report, Sprinting to 100-day mark, White House shifts regulatory landscape.