Public Statements & Remarks

Statement of Chairman Timothy Massad on the Proposed Rulemaking to Modify the Aggregation Provisions of Position Limit Rules

    September 22, 2015

As part of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, Congress mandated that the CFTC adopt limits to address the risk of excessive speculation in physical commodity derivative contracts. In 2013, the Commission proposed these rules on “position limits.” These proposed rules included guidelines to determine which accounts and positions a person with an ownership interest must aggregate to determine compliance. In addition, the Commission separately proposed an exemption process from this “aggregation” requirement.

Today, we are proposing a simplification of that exemption process. Instead of requiring a participant that has a 50 percent or more interest in an entity to apply for and obtain prior approval from the Commission, our proposal would rely on a notice filing. If that participant files a notice attesting to the Commission that it has no control over the trading of that entity, and that firewalls are in place to prevent access to information, then it need not wait for the CFTC’s review and approval. This notice filing process is similar to what the Commission uses in many other areas.

This should create a more practical, efficient rule. It is important to note that the proposed change does not alter the standard of when aggregation is required. Moreover, the Commission retains its authority to call for additional information and modify or terminate an exemption for failure to comply with the standard.

Today’s proposed modification is part of our ongoing consideration of the substantial public input the Commission received on its 2013 position limits proposal. As we continue to consider that input and work on a final rule, I want to underscore that the Commission appreciates the importance and complexity of these issues, and we intend to take the time necessary to get it right. We hope to have more to say about issues related to position limits in the coming months.

Last Updated: September 22, 2015