Saber Rattling at the CFTC

On June 26, 2008 the Commodity Futures Trading Commission posted an ominous "CFTC Emergency Authority Background" on its website. I have to tell you that if this is meant to "telegraph" their intentions, it would not likely be positive for commodity markets in general, and petroleum markets in particular. In my humble opinion, this action may be a prelude to invoking emergency powers to restrict commodity buying, and thus lower prices.

Of course, the laws of unintended consequences pertain. Some commodities have daily trading limits. If a bearish shock were to hit these markets, bulls have to potential to be locked in adverse positions as prices fall day after day without any significant trades taking place. I have been there. It ain’t fun.

If the CFTC simply wants to panic the market, this is a good start. Read the advisory at: http://www.cftc.gov/stellent/groups/public/@newsroom/documents/file/cftcemergencyauthoritybackgrou.pdf

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