The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) submitted a 137-page letter to Congress, justifying the regulator's 2011 budget, which would see a hefty $93 million increase -- or a 55% leap -- if approved.
In the letter, the CFTC points to the global economic credit crunch of the last two years as proof of the need for additional regulatory resources.
The letter, addressed to Sens. Daniel K. Inouye (D-Hawaii) and Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), and Reps. David Obey (D-Wis.) and Jerry Lewis (R-Calif.) begins...
In the fall of 2008, the financial system and the financial regulatory system failed. While more than a year has passed and the system appears to have stabilized, we cannot relent in our mission to vigorously implement our mandate to protect the public from fraud, manipulation and other abuses in the commodity markets. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) needs additional resources to promote transparency and market integrity. Only through strong, intelligent regulation can we fully protect the American people and keep our economy strong.
As we began FY 2010, the Commission had on-board more than 580 staff. While this gets us back to our staffing levels ten years ago, it is just a start. I believe that merely raising our staffing levels to the same as a decade ago will not be enough to adequately fulfill the agency‘s statutory mandate. In the last ten years, trading volume went up almost five-fold. The number of actively traded futures and options contracts went up seven-fold, and many of these have become considerably more complex in nature. We also moved from an environment with open-outcry pit trading to highly sophisticated electronic markets. What was once a group of regional domestic markets is now a global marketplace. What was once just a $500 billion business has grown to a $33 trillion industry.
Therefore, I am pleased to transmit to you the CFTC‘s Budget and Performance Estimate for FY 2011. This budget requests, for currently existing statutory authorities, an appropriation of $216,000,000 and 745 staff-years. For proposed new authorities related to financial regulatory reform, the budget requests an appropriation of $45,000,000 and 119 FTE, for a total request of $261,000,000 and 864 FTE.
The $216,000,000 requested for current authorities is an increase of $47,200,000 and 95 staff years over the estimated FY 2010 appropriation of $168,800,000 and 650 staff years. The increases requested are critical to providing the CFTC with the resources required to ensure that the Nation‘s futures markets operate without disruption.