CFTC Left Out of Spending Bill


Recurring Theme:  Changing Regulatory Tide


Summary Analysis: 

As the memories of the financial crisis fade, United States (US) lawmakers’ attention to oversight of the banking system has similarly dwindled.  In the recent omnibus spending bill, signed by President Obama in late December, lawmakers failed to appropriate the additional $72 million the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) requested for fiscal year 2016.  The futures and swaps regulator said the budget increase was essential to hire the staff and invest in the infrastructure necessary to adequately regulate an increasingly complex space within the financial services industry.

CFTC Chairman Timothy Massad issued a strong statement in opposition to the approved budget.  Massad wrote, “The failure to provide the CFTC even a modest increase in the fiscal year 2016 budget agreement sends a clear message that meaningful oversight of the derivatives markets, and the very types of products that exacerbated the global financial crisis, is not a priority.”  He added, “The CFTC’s appropriation simply doesn’t match our vast responsibilities, especially as the markets we oversee have grown enormously in size, importance and technological complexity… sensible regulation requires resources, and strong rules are meaningless unless they can be enforced properly.”