Updated at 5:01 p.m. to add commentary from Duke University law professor James Cox in paragraphs eight and nine.
Plotting a pump-and-dump stock scheme? Waiting to trade on that hush-hush tip you got from a friend? Looking to corner the market on pork bellies? Now might be your chance for any and all of those shenanigans.
The thousands of people who keep U.S. financial markets running smoothly and fraud-free could be on unpaid leave starting tomorrow, along with the National Park rangers that corral unruly grizzly bears and the scientists tracking deadly pathogens at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A few days ago, Bart Chilton, head of the U.S. Commodity Future Trading Commission, said the shutdown could have “disastrous impacts” for consumers. “You can bet the do-badders are licking their chops,” his statement read.
The government will continue to employ workers “needed to … protect life or property.” At the CFTC, this amounts to a skeleton crew of about 30 people overseeing active court cases and performing a “bare minimum level of oversight and surveillance.” Some 650 others at the commission—including most of the investigation and enforcement staff, as well as the chief economist and public affairs personnel—will be furloughed, forbidden from even checking e-mail. Here’s the CFTC’s shutdown plan (PDF).
The Securities and Exchange Commission said it will operate at ...