Public Statements & Remarks

Opening Statement, Public Meeting on Proposed Rules Under Dodd-Frank Act

Commissioner Michael V. Dunn

October 19, 2010

Today we consider the next set of proposed rules that come before the Commission pursuant to the Dodd-Frank Act. As with the previous proposed rules and all future proposed rules I am focused on three things:

  • First, I continue to believe that a principles based regulatory regime is the appropriate model for the CFTC to follow. The principles based model has worked well for this agency and the markets it regulates, and I see no need to resort to a more prescriptive structure when adequate oversight can be provided in an environment more conducive to innovation and flexibility. I would again point out that I do not believe it is a coincidence that with the advent of principles based regulation the markets we oversee experienced a new wave of innovation and explosive growth. I will continue to press staff to recommend proposed rules that follow our principles based regime, and if they do not, I will question their decision to present more prescriptive rules for our review.
  • Second, I have asked that staff present alternative approaches to achieving the goals of Dodd-Frank to me personally and also to the public for comment on the proposed rules. I believe that there are several ways to implement parts of the financial reform bill, and that it is our job, along with help from the public, to find the best approach for everyone.
  • Lastly, I am very concerned with the precarious budgetary situation the CFTC finds itself in. To be blunt, we cannot implement the entire Dodd-Frank Act and complete our pre-Dodd-Frank duties without a substantial budget increase. Despite the fact that this agency has been underfunded for years, the CFTC has consistently provided the highest quality regulatory environment possible for the markets it regulates and its users. With the monumental, resource intensive duties mandated by Dodd-Frank, it would be virtually impossible to continue this tradition without additional funding no matter how long and hard we work.

Today I am voting to release the proposed rules presented to the Commission. My vote to release these proposed rules should in no way be construed as an agreement with the opinions expressed in the proposal or to the approaches put forth by staff. I have agreed to the release these proposed rules so that the public at-large has ample opportunity to voice their opinions and concerns on this topic. I continue to keep an open mind on all the proposed rules emanating from Dodd-Frank and will forego making any decisions until I can review and digest everything submitted by the public.As Chairman of the CFTC’s Agricultural Advisory Committee, I would be remiss if I did not specifically call the public’s attention to the proposed rule defining the term “agricultural commodity.” I am very interested in receiving comments on this proposed rule, particularly with regard to exclusion of biofuels such as ethanol, methane and biodiesel from the agricultural commodity definition.

I again want to thank the Chairman for his leadership and the hard work of the dedicated employees of the CFTC in preparing these and future proposals.

Last Updated: October 19, 2010