Saturday, July 26, 2008

Chambliss: CFTC Combating Manipulatin in the Futures Markets

U.S. Senator Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) today took to the Senate floor to ensure that his fellow Senators are aware of ongoing enforcement activities at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). Sen. Chambliss specifically noted that just today the Commission brought action against a hedge fund for allegedly manipulating crude oil, heating oil and gasoline markets. During his speech, Sen. Chambliss noted that the surveillance efforts used to identify this activity may also provide additional data to the Commissioners for ongoing monitoring efforts to detect excessive speculation. The Senate is currently debating S.3286, the “Stop Excessive Energy Speculation Act.”

“The Commission has recognized that more information is necessary to ensure that speculation has not become excessive and I agree with them,” said Sen. Chambliss. There have been many assertions made this week in the Senate that are not based on factual information. Many in this body have accused the CFTC of timidly utilizing their regulatory enforcement authorities or only utilizing these authorities after extreme prompting from Congress. To the contrary, this particular civil enforcement action that was filed in U.S. District Court today was uncovered as part of an investigation initiated by CFTC long before some began blaming them for $4 gasoline.”

Working proactively with the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX), the CFTC was able to uncover possible wrongdoing and ensure that violators of the Commodity Exchange Act are identified and brought to justice.

Sen. Chambliss also said the Senate should confirm the nominations of Walt Lukken, Bart Chilton, and Scott O’Malia to serve as Commissioners of the CFTC as soon as possible. Earlier this month, the Senate Agriculture Committee approved all three nominees; however the confirmation process has stalled in the Senate preventing the Commission from being fully seated.

To listen to Sen. Chambliss’ floor speech, go to: http://www.senate.gov/~src/radio

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