Market manipulation versus the right to make a profit.
Bruce Radford is publisher and acting editor of Public Utilities Fortnightly. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Now that President Obama has nominated the current Federal Energy Regulatory Commission enforcement chief Norman Bay to serve as FERC's next chairman, perhaps the time is right to weigh allegations by Harvard Professor William Hogan and others that FERC has gone overboard in policing wholesale power markets.
As Hogan tells it, FERC appears far too ready these days to find market manipulation. And that's especially true, the professor would argue, in cases where the trader seeks openly to exploit a market defect that is widely known, and even more so when the commission has acknowledged publicly that the defect is problematic, but has let the matter stand without fixing.