Today, House Agriculture Committee Chairman K. Michael Conaway (R-TX) offered remarks on the floor of the House entering into the Congressional Record a literature review authored by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission's (CFTC) Office of the Chief Economist (OCE). The Committee obtained this literature review as part of a routine oversight request following up on a report issued by the CFTC's Office of Inspector General (OIG) in February 2016. The literature review, which provides an analysis of the current state of economic research on position limits, was never finalized or circulated to the full commission.
On June 14, 2016, Chairman Conaway sent a letter to Chairman Massad requesting that he finalize the literature review and make it public in order to allow interested stakeholders and the general public an opportunity to benefit from the insights and information it contains. On June 17, 2016, Chairman Massad declined to do so, asserting that the document is merely an internal summary of comments never intended for public consumption.
Upon making the literature review publicly available through the Congressional Record, Chairman Conaway said, “Having read the literature review, I respectfully disagree with Chairman Massad’s characterization of it. This document is much more than a summary of studies submitted during the comment period; it also is a wide-ranging examination of how to define excessive speculation, how to measure it, and how it may impact markets. By making it public, policy makers and the public will have access to the best available information prior to the comment period closing on July 13th."