The CFTC Wants You To Turn Yourself In

On September 25, 2017, James McDonald, Director of the Division of Enforcement (“Division”) at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC” or “Commission”) gave a speech at New York University in which he discussed the mission of the Division of Enforcement and revealed a new framework for policing financial markets. [1] McDonald noted that the Division of Enforcement’s role is “not to bring enforcement actions for their own sake” but rather “to facilitate healthy, robust, and resilient markets” with the “ultimate goal” being to “deter misconduct in these markets.” Recognizing these...

SolarCity Settles Grant Fraud Allegations

In another reminder that doing business with the federal government presents unique risks, on September 22, 2017, the U.S. Justice Department announced that SolarCity Corporation had agreed to pay $29.5 million to resolve the government’s allegations that SolarCity and related entities had violated the Civil False Claims Act. (31 U.S.C. § 3729.) The allegations and settlement stem from federal grants for renewable energy projects under Section 1603 of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. (Public Law 111-5.) Accordingly to DOJ’s press release, beginning in 2009, SolarCity...

A Call to Focus on Strengthening Grid Resilience and Reliability: DOE Staff Report Offers Timely Insights on Fundamental Market Changes

The U.S. Department of Energy (“DOE”) recently released its highly-anticipated Staff Report to the Secretary on Electricity Markets and Reliability . The report weighs heavily on the themes of focusing on grid resilience and reliability in light of recent fundamental changes in the sources of generation. The report is definitely worth reading for those working in the electric industry and is a data-driven analysis of the varied and complex factors that have led to today’s structured electricity markets in which coal-fired generation has substantially diminished, gas-fired generation has...

U.S. Futures Exchanges Disciplinary Actions Report - August 2017

The Bracewell U.S. Futures Exchanges Disciplinary Actions Report is a monthly report that provides summaries of certain disciplinary notices by U.S. exchanges during the prior month. The report has a particular focus on notices potentially relevant to energy commodities and is not intended to be a comprehensive review of each and every notice issued. Instead, the report is intended to provide market participants, and compliance personnel in particular, with illustrative examples of rule violations and to bring to light enforcement trends across the exchanges. CBOT CBOT 15-0231-BC Disruptive...