For all the accomplishments of the last year, there’s one thing that hasn’t kept up with the changing markets.
Today, the CFTC has fewer people than we did one year ago. And with sequestration, our funding has actually declined since last year.
At 684 people, we are just 7 percent larger than we were 20 years ago, but we now oversee the vast swaps market that is eight times the size of the futures market. And the futures market has grown significantly since then as well.
Simply put, the CFTC is not the right size for the new and expanded mission Congress has directed it to perform.
We need significantly more people and investments in technology for examinations, to vigorously pursue enforcement cases, and to handle applications for registration.
We need significantly more people to be responsive to the hundreds of incoming questions and requests regarding implementation of reform.
Without sufficient funding, your businesses – and the nation – cannot be assured that this agency can adequately oversee the futures and swaps markets.
In the last year, there have been significant and exciting changes for the futures and swaps markets.
I think there is a lot for all of you to be proud of in adapting to these changes. The public will be better protected and will benefit from greater transparency.
There is certainly more to do.
But despite any challenges ahead, I know that derivatives markets – dating back to the 1860s, and an essential component of our American financial system – will continue to grow and thrive.