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October 18, 2012

The CFTC Must Reject Wall St's Attacks


Better Markets sent a letter to the Chairman of the CFTC rebutting a recent attack:

Wall Street, much of the financial industry, and their many allies have used their unlimited resources to fight common sense financial reform.  They now seek to roll back the progress the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) has made to reduce excessive speculation in the commodity markets as mandated by the financial reform and Wall Street re-regulation law, known as the Dodd-Frank Act.  Given how much the American people have had to suffer from the worst financial collapse since the stock market Crash of 1929 and the worst economy since the Great Depression that it caused, this attempt to repeal key reforms must not be allowed to succeed. (See Report on cost of the crisis attached below.)

The latest example of this is a letter dated October 10, 2012 that was recently sent by four senior members of the House Financial Services Committee (“Letter”).  Among other things, the Letter purports to express concerns about the position limits rule (“Rule”) that was recently vacated and remanded to the CFTC by the United States District Court for the District of Columbia (“Decision”).  The Letter asks the CFTC to provide the total number of staff hours (and associated dollar amounts) dedicated to the position limits “rulemaking process” and the litigation in which the Rule was challenged, including expected costs relating to any appeal and any revised rulemaking.

The Letter is flawed in two fundamentally important respects.  First, the Letter fails to request a breakdown of the total amount showing whose actions required the CFTC to devote the staff hours and incur the costs associated with the Rule.  For example, how much of the total was necessitated by Wall Street, the financial industry, and their allies?  Such a breakdown is essential for the American people to understand not just the total commitment of resources to the Rule, but why much of that commitment was necessary.  As an organization dedicated to promoting the public interest, Better Markets requests that such specific disclosures be included in any response to the Letter.

Second, the Letter rests on numerous misconceptions relating to the nature of the Court’s Decision, the critical role of position limits in the financial reform process, and the need to address future as well as past problems in our financial markets.

Read our entire letter to the CFTC encouraging them to reject the latest attack here

Read the Letter from the four senior members of the House Financial Services Committee here

Read our Report on the cost of the crisis here



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