Vanderbilt Law Review

First Page



On October 23, 1974, President Ford signed into law P.L. 93-463, bearing the breathless title "Commodity Futures Trading Com-mission Act of 1974"' [hereinafter the CFTC Act]. The CFTC Act followed a series of hearings, beginning in the summer of 1973, held first by a subcommittee of the House Committee on Small Business and followed rapidly by the more traditional oversight committees of the Congress-the House Agriculture Committee and the Senate Agriculture and Forestry Committee.' The result was a major over-haul of the Commodity Exchange Act, which had governed the commodity futures markets since 1922. More significantly, however,the Act has become an experiment in centralizing regulatory power within a single federal agency-the Commodity Futures Trading Commission [hereinafter CFTC]-and has resulted in the preemption of all other would-be regulators at every level of government...

The balance of this article will discuss the legislative history of the 1974 amendments as it pertains to the jurisdiction of the CFTC, the centralization of regulatory power in the CFTC, and the preemption of other regulators. Later developments in the legislature will be discussed along with the emerging case law. This article will conclude with an examination of two key issues that must be resolved: the status of private litigation under other state and federal statutes and the antifraud provisions of the CFTC Act.II.