Curriculum Guide · Courses
Energy Trading and Market Regulation II
Professor Mark Higgins
LL.M Course 969 (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours
A combination of forces is reshaping today's energy trading markets, including the changing nature of financial market regulation following the passage of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank). These changing dynamics present new legal challenges not only for traditional energy companies using previously unregulated financial derivative instruments to hedge or mitigate commercial risk, but also for financial speculators employing automated, high-frequency trading systems in the electricity, natural gas, and oil sectors. This course will focus on the regulation of the financial energy markets by examining: (i) the history and current model of derivatives regulation under the Commodity Exchange Act, as amended by Dodd-Frank; (ii) the legal, regulatory and market responses to ongoing challenges, including ensuring market transparency and integrity, including preventing market manipulation, disruptive trading practices, and excessive speculation of the sort perpetrated by the hedge fund Amaranth in 2007; and (iii) the constant interplay between Congress, the federal energy market regulators, and the entities subject to financial energy market regulation. Students will gain an appreciation for the legal challenges confronted by energy market participants. Some sessions will feature guest lecturers. There will be no examination. Instead, students’ grades will be based on a final paper requiring legal analysis of actual issues confronting attorneys advising entities trading in financial energy markets.
Recommended: Energy Trading & Market Regulation I; Futures Regulation and the Commodity Exchange Act; Introduction to the Regulation of Derivatives