'We must ensure that all commodities are traded on regulated exchanges'

U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Thomas R. Harkin (D-Iowa), on July 7 after Commodity Futures Trading Commission Chairman Gary G. Gensler announced that the CFTC would hold hearings to consider position limits on energy commodities, and review whether swap dealers, index traders and exchange-traded fund managers should be exempt from these limits.

U.S. Sen. Thomas R. Harkin (D-Iowa), chairman of the Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Committee, on July 7 after Commodity Futures Trading Commission Chairman Gary G. Gensler announced that the CFTC would hold hearings to consider position limits on energy commodities, and review whether swap dealers, index traders and exchange-traded fund managers should be exempt from these limits:


“Today’s announcement shows that the CFTC recognizes that the energy futures markets affect the prices that Americans pay for transportation and to heat their homes. The CFTC has the responsibility to assure that the price discovery function of the futures markets is not distorted by excessive speculation.

“In the Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008, the farm bill, we included a provision authorizing the CFTC to oversee significant price discovery contracts trading on exempt commercial markets. I am pleased the agency is utilizing this new responsibility and is taking the initial steps to impose limits on speculative trading of energy futures on both the fully regulated exchanges and the newly regulated significant price discovery contracts.

“There is, however, even more that I believe can and should be done. To begin to address the excessive speculation in the energy markets, we must ensure that all commodities are traded on regulated exchanges. This would facilitate CFTC review of all futures contracts and would bring efficiency, integrity and greater simplicity to these markets. To help secure our nation’s economy, energy futures transactions should not occur in ‘shadow over-the-counter markets’ but rather in the full light of day.”

Contact Nick Snow atnicks@pennwell.com

More in Home