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November 15, 2011

Rare spending deal shapes up on Hill; CFTC Funding Cut

“Obama had sought $308 million for 2012 in light of Wall Street reform legislation last year and the commission’s increased role in overseeing the derivatives market. But under pressure from House Republicans, the agreed-upon amount is $205.3 million, a virtual freeze at current appropriations levels.”

“’We have seen the results of an ill-funded and ill-equipped regulator. It isn’t a pretty picture,’ Bart Chilton, a Democratic member of the CFTC told POLITICO. ‘Congress can fund our agency, and we can do the job they have instructed us to do, or we will have to pick and choose priorities. We certainly can’t do it all without the needed resources.’

“’Not funding the CFTC is like taking the police off the streets in a high-crime area, which is what Wall Street is,’ said Dennis Kelleher, president of Better Markets, a nonprofit financial watchdog.

“’Risky trading in dark markets is highly profitable to Wall Street and very expensive for every other person in America. They got billions in bonuses, and we got the bill for trillions of dollars to clean up their mess. The only way to prevent them for doing that again is to make sure that the CFTC has the funds to do their job.’”

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