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Market Savvy: First-Quarter Report | SAVVY CONFIDENTIAL
/ A Briefing for Investors

Background Checks for Futures Contracts

April 01, 1999|Associated Press

Investors thinking of sinking their money into oil futures or pork bellies now have an online option to check out the background and disciplinary information on about 50,000 companies and salespeople in the commodity futures industry.

The new Internet database, unveiled Wednesday, "provides investors with a valuable tool to protect themselves against fraud and abuse," said Brooksley Born, chairwoman of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

Named BASIC, for Background Affiliation Status Information Center, it is available on the Web site of the National Futures Assn. at http://www.nfa.futures.org. The information comes from the self-regulatory association, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the nation's 14 futures exchanges.

The database includes, for example, enforcement cases filed by the CFTC since 1975.

A futures contract obligates a trader to buy or sell a commodity at a fixed price at a specific time in the future.

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