A Fresh Chance for Congress to Do Right by the CFTC

As the appropriations process moves forward this month and next, lawmakers again have a chance to properly fund the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. This is an agency whose responsibilities have far outstripped its resources, as detailed in an AFR fact sheet and charts of the agency’s workload versus budget and workload versus workforce.

The CFTC plays a crucial role in financial regulation. In the first place, it oversees the commodity derivatives markets, which help determine the price of everyday items ranging from gasoline to bread. The Dodd-Frank Act also gave the CFTC responsibility for the vast and previously unregulated financial derivatives markets, which helped crash the world economy in 2008. With its expanded mandate, the CFTC has seen an eight-fold increase in the size of the markets it is charged with overseeing. Yet the Commission has yet to receive anything close to the funding proposed by the administration or sufficient to do its job. — Marcus Stanley