By Silla Brush – Mar 21, 2012 1:30 PM ET
A council of U.S. financial regulators should speed up Dodd-Frank Act rules needed to limit speculation on oil, natural gas and other commodities, Bart Chilton, a member of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission said.
The CFTC and Securities and Exchange Commission, delayed in adopting regulations stemming from the 2010 financial-regulation overhaul, should consider asking the Financial Stability Oversight Council to complete the regulation defining which derivatives are swaps, Chilton said in a speech prepared for his appearance today before the Exchequer Club of Washington. The speculation limits rely on the definition.
“I realize this is a highly unusual and perhaps incendiary move, but we have a responsibility to act here, and it’s high time we do so to protect markets and consumers,” said Chilton, a Democrat who supports the speculation limits. “Perhaps given the importance of position limits and the purported hang-up, it’s time to pass the ball to FSOC.”
U.S. senators introduced legislation today aimed at getting the CFTC to limit speculation they said has led to rising gasoline prices. Senators Bernie Sanders, a Vermont independent, and Ben Cardin, a Maryland Democrat, said their legislation would give the agency 14 days to implement rules to halt “excessive” oil-futures speculation.
“Oil prices are negatively impacting our entire economy,” Sanders said at a Washington news conference today. “Excessive speculation on the oil futures market is driving oil prices up.’”