Committee Reviews CFTC Report on Index and Over-the-Counter Trading in Commodity Markets

Sep 11, 2008

WASHINGTON - Today, the House Agriculture Committee held a hearing to review a Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) report on the participation of swap dealers and index funds in agricultural and energy commodity markets. Congressman Bob Etheridge of North Carolina, Chairman of the General Farm Commodities and Risk Management Subcommittee, chaired today’s hearing. 

"The report released by the CFTC today provides us with the most accurate picture of index trading and swap dealer participation in the over-the-counter market to date,” said Chairman Etheridge.  “However, it still doesn't tell us the whole story.  We need to examine the rise in commodity prices prior to 2008 and fall in prices in July and August.  I have asked the Commission to look at these time periods so that we can see the complete narrative of the rise and fall of commodity prices."

The Committee heard testimony from CFTC Acting Chairman Walter Lukken. Included in CFTC’s testimony was the release of the agency’s special call survey of commodity swap dealers’ and index traders’ participation in futures and options markets.  The Commission’s report included swap and index fund data along with agency recommendations for increased transparency and reporting.

The House Agriculture Committee has held several oversight hearings in the 110th Congress on commodity exchange price volatility and its effects on the agricultural and energy supply chains.  In July, the Committee passed H.R. 6604, a bipartisan measure to increase transparency, oversight, and anti-manipulation authority over futures and options markets.  Included in the bill is the codification of CFTC’s previous recommendations in examining the true extent of index and other passive fund participation in these markets.

The opening statement of Chairman Lukken is available on the Committee website and a full transcript of the hearing will be posted on the Committee website at a later date.

 

Witnesses:

  • The Honorable Walter Lukken, Acting Chairman, Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Washington, D.C.

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