WASHINGTON, Feb. 14, 2012- The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) is directing too many of its resources away from overseeing the futures markets to focus on Dodd-Frank rulemakings, said Commissioners Jill Sommers and Scott O’Malia today. 

“In light of the MF Global insolvency, the Commission must remain vigilant in its oversight of the futures markets for both systemic and operational risks,” said Sommers and O’Malia in a joint statement. “Unfortunately, resources have been redirected to Dodd-Frank-related rulemakings and reduced the Commission’s capacity to appropriately oversee these markets.”

The commissioners released their statement of dissent after reading the regulatory agency’s fiscal year 2011 Annual Performance Report.

“This document is filled with statements that make it clear that Dodd-Frank rulemaking is a priority and will be pursued at the expense of other critical goals and priorities,” said the commissioners.

They claimed the agency missed 43 percent of its priorities, particularly in the areas of technology and rule enforcement reviews conducted by the Division of Market Oversight in the futures market. .

“The Commission must use this report to review its shortcomings and make adjustments to both its budget and surveillance priorities to ensure that critical futures market oversight is not neglected,” continued the statement of dissent. “Failure to make these adjustments expose futures markets to both systemic and operational risk and could cost customers hundreds of millions of dollars.”

Encouraging the agency to rebalance its funding, the commissioners noted that MF Global served as “a startling wake-up call” and that the Commission should make sure its “current obsession with the Dodd-Frank rules do not compromise its existing mission.”


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