Cantwell: Weak Wall Street Speculation Rule is ‘Like Setting Speed Limit at 125 MPH’

New Rule to Rein in Excessive Speculation is ‘Too Weak to Meaningfully Protect Consumers’

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) released the following statement following the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s (CFTC) vote today to impose position limits on commodities speculation. The CFTC voted 3-2 to approve the rule, which was required by last year’s Wall Street Reform bill.

“Last year, Congress told the CFTC to get serious about reining in Wall Street’s excessive speculation,” Cantwell said. “The CFTC was supposed to provide speed limits for Wall Street gambling on commodities. Today’s overly broad rule is like setting the speed limit at 125 miles per hour.”

“The CFTC should do its job and provide transparency and oversight of Wall Street. I’m pleased the CFTC followed our suggestion in dropping the conditional spot month position limit, which would have made it easier for speculators to manipulate prices. But I’m disappointed that this rule is simply too weak to meaningfully protect consumers.”

Cantwell has long fought to prevent market manipulation and excessive speculation from artificially driving up the price of oil and prices faced by consumers at the pump. During last year’s financial market reform debate, Cantwell pushed for tough and effective rules and the elimination of loopholes to prevent speculators from manipulating the oil market. She fought to ensure that the bill required the CFTC to enact position limits to diminish, eliminate or prevent excessive speculation that disrupts the market. Mandatory speculative position limits, which the CFTC is in the process of setting now, and strong anti-manipulation tools were main contributors to Cantwell’s eventual support of the Wall Street Reform law.