CFTC's Chilton says public comment on Wall Street Reform regulations critical

By Agri-Pulse Staff

© Copyright Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.

Washington, Aug. 26 – The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) issued a Federal Register notice Thursday requesting comment on the broad array of rules and studies included in the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act signed last month by President Obama. CFTC Commissioner Bart Chilton called on the public to speak up now. “Regulators are charged with putting some meat on the bones of the new law, but we want comments from folks to get it right,” Chilton said. “We have dozens of rules to write at the CFTC regarding markets that affect the prices we pay for virtually everything.” The agency is one of several federal financial regulators, including the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and others which will craft new rules.

Chilton explained that, “The law and the rules we adopt will affect all of us. We know Washington doesn't have all the answers and we can’t write these important rules in a vacuum.” His comments follow the first of a series of panel discussions with stakeholders to gather expert opinion on new rules which the legislation requires to be in force by July 2011. One panelist at Friday's initial roundtable, Prof. Michael Greenberger of the Maryland School of Law where he teaches a Futures, Options and Derivatives seminar, told Agri-Pulse that he understands the CFTC and the SEC plan to complete proposed rules by the end of December to allow ample time for public comment.

This enhanced and expedited plan to gather information is designed to allow all members of the public with an interest in the reform package to offer CFTC guidance which can be used to develop and draft rules. Once proposed rules are published, the public will have a chance to weigh in again during the formal notice-and-comment rulemaking process. “The reform package is all about transparency and our process has to be transparent too,” Chilton said.

There are 30 areas in which CFTC regulators are seeking comment. These include, but are not limited to: restricting the concentration that traders may control in a given market (position limits), defining swap dealers and major swap participants, how disruptive trading practices should be defined, real time reporting of trades, and governance of exchanges and clearinghouses.

To submit comments on any of the 30 rule-writing areas, the public can go to: for information. For specifics on the rules areas and the e-mail addresses for submitting comments relating to the different issues, go to:

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