WASHINGTON, D.C.— President and CEO Dennis M. Kelleher issued the following statement after submitting a complaint to the CFTC’s Office of the Inspector General requesting an investigation into Commissioner Caroline Pham’s apparent public disclosure of highly confidential information involving the application of KalshiEx LLC (Kalshi) for approval of a “political event contract,” which would allow traders to bet on the future partisan control of Congress:
“Due to the extraordinary, if not unprecedented, public disclosure of highly confidential, nonpublic, internal, factual and legal discussions by CFTC Commissioner Caroline Pham concerning Kalshi’s pending application, Better Markets filed a complaint with, and requested an investigation by, the CFTC’s Inspector General. Commissioner Pham reportedly revealed confidential internal CFTC information and discussions and, thereby, may have abused her position and violated the CFTC’s code of conduct, which prohibits any employee from divulging confidential or nonpublic information prior to its authorization for release. Commissioner Pham reportedly also publicly advised Kalshi, a private company with a matter pending before the CFTC, to take action adverse to the CFTC by withdrawing its application to deprive the CFTC of jurisdiction over that private company’s pending matter.
“As a basic policy matter, such behavior, if true, from a sitting Commissioner cannot be allowed to serve as an acceptable precedent if the CFTC is to preserve its credibility as a reliable regulator and overseer of the U.S. derivatives and commodities markets. Indeed, the CFTC could not function or fulfill its many statutory responsibilities if people and organizations legitimately feared that at any time anyone from a commissioner on down could disclose highly confidential information merely because they wanted to or, worse, because they sought to benefit a particular private party or industry. The corrosive impact of such behavior, if not appropriately addressed, cannot be overstated.
“Better Markets has never filed such a request before. We do not make this request lightly and are only doing so given the gravity of the apparent abuse, breach of trust, and violation of the public interest by one of the most senior leaders of the CFTC, each of whom should conduct themselves in a manner that meets or exceeds the highest ethical and legal standards applicable to public officials.”
Better Markets is a non-profit, non-partisan, and independent organization founded to promote the public interest in the financial markets, support the financial reform of Wall Street and make our financial system work for all Americans again. Better Markets works with allies—including many in finance—to promote pro-market, pro-business and pro-growth policies that help build a stronger, safer financial system that protects and promotes Americans’ jobs, savings, retirements and more. To learn more, visit www.bettermarkets.org.