Senate Agriculture Committee Chair Debbie Stabenow convened the first official hearing in the committee’s Commodity Futures Trading Commission reauthorization effort Wednesday. Stabenow said the committee must examine lessons from past market failures as it reauthorizes the CFTC to avoid repeat crises like the 2008 near-collapse of global financial markets that left eight-million men and women without jobs. She said the committee wants to make sure the agency responsible for protecting these markets has the authority, staff and modern technology needed to do its job.
Stabenow also cited the collapse of MF Global and its loss of 1.2-billion dollars in segregated customer funds as a critical reminder of why it’s important to make sure the markets are transparent and functioning as needed. She noted the committee has been closely monitoring the MF Global case – with a focus on getting customers their money back, holding anyone engaged in wrongdoing accountable and ensuring that proper customer protections are in place so something similar doesn’t happen again.
Committee members heard from a range of witnesses including market participants, end users and regulators. Stabenow said additional hearings will be announced in the coming weeks.
NFU President Stresses Importance of CFTC Work
National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson says family farmers and ranchers need access to commodity markets that are stable, fair and free from manipulation. As the Senate Agriculture Committee begins the Commodity Futures Trading Commission reauthorization process – Johnson notes the CFTC needs the tools, data and authority to ensure functional markets are available. Johnson says the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 assigned enormous, additional responsibilities to the CFTC. To carry out those duties – he says the CFTC needs the resources to keep up with the 600-trillion dollar derivatives market and ever-changing trading technology. Further – Johnson says CFTC should continue its work to improve and implement the regulations resulting from Dodd-Frank. With the MF Global and Peregrine debacles underscoring the need for regulatory oversight of our financial and commodity markets – Johnson says now is not the time to turn back. He says the CFTC must be allowed to continue in its important work.
Source: NAFB News Service