Cantwell: Administration-Backed Regulations Will Bring Volatile Commodities Markets to Light

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) responded to sweeping new commitments by the Obama administration to strictly regulate derivative markets and open the way to protecting the U.S. economy from unrestricted speculation.


“By imposing tough regulations on these markets, we are finally tackling what tackled our economy,” said Cantwell, a member of the Senate Finance Committee. “In public hearings and private conversations with the Obama administration, I have insisted that the Treasury Department move quickly to establish tough regulatory controls that will protect the public against speculative financial meltdowns. Treasury Secretary Geithner’s pledge today to support a series of regulatory reforms, that I have been advocating, represents a historic and long-awaited step.


“These reforms will realize the goal of regulating all forms of derivative dealers and transactions and will bring ‘dark’ markets to light by requiring publicly accessible trade recording and record-keeping. The administration’s apparent commitment to aggregate positioning limits across all markets, once enacted into law, will protect the public from the reckless speculation that has greatly aggravated our current economic downturn.


“I will be working closely with the Senate leadership to ensure that these reforms are passed into law and that the loopholes speculators have been exploiting are closed permanently.”


As the complex discussions over regulating derivatives unfolded, Cantwell placed a hold on the President’s nomination of former Goldman Sachs executive Gary Gensler to head the Commodity Future Trading Commission.