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Gensler says CFTC’s budget must be increased by 50 percent to keep up with Dodd-Frank

Gary Gensler

Chairman Gary Gensler of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission called for a 50 percent budget increase in order to better carry out its duties in regulating the $708 trillion global swaps market under Dodd-Frank.

“The CFTC is requesting significantly more resources to oversee a much expanded field of play,” Gensler said during a Senate appropriations hearing on Wednesday, according to Bloomberg. “We’re being asked to oversee the swaps markets, which is eight times the size of futures markets. And we need more referees to protect the players.”

Gensler wants to spend approximately one-third of the budget on technology, adding that the CFTC has only been able to meet 57 percent of its performance targets, Bloomberg reports.

President Obama also sought a 50 percent budget increase to fund the agency’s activities for the 2013 fiscal year – the same increase denied to the agency last year. The CFTC’s budget has been a hot-button topic of debate as Republicans seek to reduce spending and Democrats scramble to acquire resources to fund Dodd-Frank efforts.

After the collapse of MF Global Holdings Ltd. Last year, the CFTC has been investigating the collapse and considering changes in futures rules. Currently, the CFTC is discussing the insulation of futures’ customers collateral during default, very similar to the CFTC mandate in the swaps market. The agency, however, has no plans to make the rule change before November.

“For capacity reasons, it will wait,” Gensler said, Bloomberg reports.

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