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June 24, 2020

Supreme Court Will Not Review Atlantic Trading Case

This month, the Supreme Court decided not to review a Second Circuit decision on commodity market manipulation (Atlantic Trading USA LLS v. BP P.L.C.). Better Markets had filed a joint amicus brief in April urging the Court to take the case. The lower court held that even manipulative schemes that distort prices on U.S. commodity exchanges and harm U.S. traders are beyond the reach of the law if they originate overseas. That decision dealt a severe blow to the CFTC’s ability to police commodity market manipulation and the ability of traders to seek damages for such misconduct. For now, at least, we would expect to see more commodity market manipulation cases brought in other federal courts, including those in the Ninth Circuit, which don’t interpret the Commodity Exchange Act so narrowly. 

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