Due in part to broader powers granted to the agency under the Dodd-Frank Act, the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) brought a record number of enforcement actions during the 2012 fiscal year, which ended September 30, 2012. With 102 enforcement cases in the 2012 fiscal year, the CFTC is aggressively pursuing cases against some of the world’s largest financial institutions. Under Dodd-Frank, the agency was given the authority to police the swaps market. Additionally, Dodd-Frank also lowered the burden of proof the CFTC must show in market manipulation cases.
On October 5, 2012, the agency announced that it had levied $585 million in sanctions during the 2012 fiscal year. These sanctions arose out of such scandals as the collapse of MF Global and JP Morgan Chase’s multibillion-dollar trading loss that occurred earlier this year. Of the total $585 million, $200 million is attributable to a penalty the CFTC imposed on Barclays due, in part, to the bank’s role in manipulation of the Libor rate. With Congress seeking to cut the CFTC’s budget, it remains to be seen whether the agency will be as active or successful in recouping fines in 2013. (“Wall Street Regulator Ramps Up Enforcement,” NY Times Dealbook, October 5, 2012).