April 10, 2013
I’m pleased with President Obama’s budget request for the CFTC. In addition, I’m comforted that the budget request contains a proposal to initiate user fees as the funding mechanism for our Agency. Given the dysfunction junction we’ve seen on fiscal issues in government, I’m concerned that without such user fees, we won’t have the resources—the people power or the tech tools—needed to take on the oversight and enforcement duties we’ve been asked to undertake by Congress and the President. We simply won’t have the bucks to do the job.
It is pretty simple. We need resources to be a reliable regulator and to protect the public.
A final note: For years, I opposed user fees because these markets serve a public good and should legitimately be funded by the public. However, if Congress won’t fund our essential efforts, and the choice is user fees or inadequate regulation, bring on the user fees. I believe President Bush came to that same conclusion as exemplified in his budget requests. After all, 2008 highlighted that the financial industry can bring our economy to its knees. We continue to see Wall Street malfeasance. That’s happening at the same time that the financial sector has consistently seen more profits—and big time—than any other sector of the economy. In fact, since the last quarter of 2008, the financial sector has made more profits than all other sectors— more than manufacturing, more than energy, more than retail, more than—you name it. So, I’m not too concerned that such a transaction fee as President Obama has proposed would be a painful pill—more like a pin prick, really. Now is the time for our Agency to be funded, like other financial regulators, with a user fee by those who are profiting most from the very sector that, obviously, needs continued and even increased oversight and enforcement.
Last Updated: April 10, 2013