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Commission at a Glance: Evolving Mission and Responsibilities

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Since the passage of the CEA, the CFTC and its predecessor agencies have been responsible for ensuring the fair, open and efficient functioning of futures markets. After the 2008 financial crisis and the subsequent enactment of the Dodd-Frank Act, the CFTC’s mission expanded to include oversight of the swaps marketplace. The Dodd-Frank Act will—for the first time—bring comprehensive regulation to the swaps marketplace. Derivatives dealers will be subject to robust oversight. Standardized derivatives will be required to trade on open platforms and be submitted for clearing to central counterparties, all of which will be subject to Federal regulation and supervision.

Some of the CFTC’s expanded authorities will be consistent with our current authorities but expanded to also include swaps. Some will be new responsibilities, such as regulating swap dealers, swap execution facilities (SEFs) and swap data repositories (SDRs).

The Dodd-Frank Act is very detailed, addressing all of the key policy issues regarding regulation of the swaps marketplace. To implement these regulations, the CFTC is required to promulgate rules, generally within 360 days of enactment of the Dodd-Frank Act. The Commission organized its effort around 30 teams who have been actively at work.

Two principles are guiding the Commission throughout the rule-writing process. First is the statute itself. The Commission is complying fully with the statute’s provisions and Congressional intent to manage risk and bring transparency to the swaps markets.

Second, Commission staff is consulting heavily with other regulators, such as the SEC, Federal Reserve and other prudential regulators. In addition to working with its American counterparts, the Commission has reached out to and is actively consulting with international regulators to harmonize its approach to swaps oversight.

The Commission also is soliciting broad public input into the rules. This began the day the President signed the Dodd-Frank Act when the Commission identified the 30 rule-writing teams and set up electronic mailboxes for the public to submit their views directly. The Commission is openly considering proposed rules, using public Commission meetings for this purpose.

The Commission is committed to transparency in the rulemaking process. As such, we are posting a list of all of our meetings relating to the implementation of the Dodd-Frank Act, as well as the participants, issues discussed and all materials given to us, on our Web site at:

Additional information on the Dodd-Frank rulemaking effort at the Commission is provided in the Appendix of this report.


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