Opening Statement of Chairman Gary Gensler, Meeting of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission to Discuss: Futures and Binary Options Based on Box Office Receipts
May 19, 2010
Good morning. I call to order this public meeting of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) to consider issues related to the trading of futures and binary options based on motion picture box office receipts.
I would like to start by thanking today’s panelists, my fellow Commissioners and CFTC staff for being here today. This is our fourth public meeting this year, and I hope to continue holding more of these meetings out in the open.
Last month the CFTC approved the applications of Cantor Futures Exchange, L.P. (Cantor) and Media Derivatives, Inc. (MDEX) for designation as contract markets. The Commodity Exchange Act requires the Commission to approve such applications if the applicant meets criteria enumerated in the Act.
Given the novel nature of the contracts that Cantor and MDEX have proposed trading, the CFTC requested, and both designated contract markets (DCMs) agreed, that all new classes or categories of media-related contracts the DCMs plan to list must be submitted for approval by the Commission. This is distinct from most futures contracts on existing DCMs that can be self-certified in one day. Today, we will hear the views of eight panelists on whether the Commission should approve Cantor’s and MDEX’s first contracts.
The Commission will not vote today. The purpose of this morning’s meeting is to allow the commissioners and the public to learn more about these contracts. We are interested primarily in fact finding. Given the interest that the public has expressed in these particular contracts, we determined that a public hearing is the most transparent and efficient way to hear the views of market participants.
The Commission and the public will hear from two panels this morning. Both Cantor and MDEX will be represented. We have asked one to participate on the first panel and the other to participate on the second panel. Before we turn to the panels, Rick Shilts, the CFTC’s Director of the Division of Market Oversight, will present on the actions taken so far by the Commission regarding Cantor’s and MDEX’s applications and the statutory considerations related to the DCMs’ outstanding applications.
The record for this morning’s meeting will stay open until May 26, 2010. Instructions for mailing comments can be found on our website at www.cftc.gov. Comments also can be transmitted by fax at 202–418–5521 emailed to [email protected] All comments received and a copy of the transcript of the hearing will be made available on our website.
Before I recognize Director Shilts, I will turn to my fellow Commissioners for their opening statements.
Last Updated: June 14, 2010