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February 10, 2020

Trump’s Budget In Fact Proposes Slashing the CFTC Budget by $57 Million or 20%, Taking the Derivatives Cops off the Beat as Wall Street’s Biggest Banks Want


Monday, February 10, 2020

Contact: 202-618-6433,

Washington, D.C.  –  Dennis M. Kelleher, President and Chief Executive Officer of Better Markets, issued the following statement regarding the President’s proposed fiscal year 2021 budget for the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC):

“Dangerous derivatives were at the core of causing and spreading the 2008 financial crash and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) are the derivatives cops on the Wall Street beat charged with making sure that doesn’t happen again,” said Dennis Kelleher, President and CEO of Better Markets.  “This is critical because the five largest, taxpayer-backed Wall Street banks are also the five largest derivatives dealers, trading almost 90% of all the derivatives in the United States,” Kelleher said.

“The President’s fiscal year 2021 budget for the CFTC is misleadingly presented as a 7% increase when he is in fact proposing to slash the budget by more than 20%.  The 2021 budget proposal is $304 million; the fiscal year 2020 enacted level was $284 million.  However, the 2021 proposal assumes that Congress will change the law to allow the CFTC to collect user fees in the amount of $77,500,000, even though the Congress has steadfastly refused to do that year-after-year.  While Better Markets fully supports the enactment of a user fee to fund the CFTC, we see no prospect of that happening this year.  Thus, the President’s proposal without fees is a mere $226,500,000, or $57 million less than the 2020 enacted budget amount, a cut of more than 20%.  The President’s budget number is phony if not a fraud designed to mislead the public,” said Kelleher.

“Chronic underfunding of the CFTC has prevented Wall Street’s derivatives dealers from being effectively regulated and policed.  Slashing the CFTC budget may cheer Wall Street, but it will needlessly put our financial system at risk and expose hardworking Americans to another crash and future bailouts.  It’s the exact wrong thing to do,” Kelleher concluded.


Better Markets is a non-profit, non-partisan, and independent organization founded in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis 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

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