Public Statements & Remarks

Opening Statement of Commissioner Summer K. Mersinger Before the Technology Advisory Committee

March 22, 2023

Good afternoon and thank you to everyone joining us today, both in person and virtually.  I am very much looking forward to today’s meeting, and I want to commend Commissioner Goldsmith-Romero not only for convening this meeting today of the Technology Advisory Committee (“TAC”), but also for putting together such an impressive group of presenters for what I expect to be a fascinating discussion.

I also want to acknowledge Tony Biagioli, the designated federal officer for the TAC.  It is a lot of work to plan and organize these meetings, and Tony was able to accomplish all of this while simultaneously serving the agency in our Division of Enforcement.

Additionally, I want to make sure to thank all of the CFTC staff working behind the scenes from our telecom, logistics, IT, security and the many other teams involved in planning and executing these advisory committee meetings.  We would not be able to hold these meetings, let alone do our job, without your expertise and hard work.

Every topic on today’s agenda is timely, relevant and critically important to the American economy.  As regulators, we rely on your expertise to help us do our job in a way that allows responsible innovation to flourish in the derivatives markets we regulate.  In our governing statute, the Commodity Exchange Act (“CEA”), Congress specifically tasked the CFTC with promoting responsible innovation among derivatives markets and market participants.[1]

But while Congress directed us to help assure that our regulated markets reap the efficiencies and benefits of emerging technologies, it also requires us to do so in a manner that ensures both market integrity and customer protection.[2]  That can be a difficult balance to achieve, and we cannot make those judgments without a better understanding of those technologies.  Sound policy-making comes from opportunities like today’s TAC meeting, where we can engage with the public, gather information, and learn from those who are most knowledgeable in the field, to inform our regulatory decision-making.

I appreciate the time and effort from all of our presenters today, as well as those who will serve on the TAC under Commissioner Goldsmith-Romero’s sponsorship.  Your service on this advisory committee is truly a public service.  I firmly believe that government action without public input is misguided at best, and at worst, it could actually create more harm than good.  That is why all of five of the CFTC’s advisory committees are essential to our work at this agency.

Again, thank you all for being here, and I’m looking forward to today’s presentations and discussions.

[1] CEA Section 3(b), 7 U.S.C. § 5(b).

[2] Id.