SPEECHES & TESTIMONY

Opening Statement of Commissioner Mark Wetjen before the CFTC Agriculture Advisory Committee Meeting

December 9, 2014

Good morning and thank you, Chairman Fortenbery and Chairman Massad. I applaud your decision to hold this meeting to not only allow for additional input on these critical aspects of the position limits rule proposal, but to also take a look at the state of the agriculture economy and how that might impact the work we do at the Commission. Although the Commission’s mandate grew considerably under Title VII of Dodd-Frank, ensuring the integrity of the derivatives markets for our farmers and ranchers remains central to our mission. We should never lose sight of the fact that a vibrant futures market is essential to a robust agriculture economy in the United States and globally.

In that vein, I am pleased to welcome my fellow Iowan to the hearing, Secretary Tom Vilsack, who is here to talk about the state of the agriculture economy. I am looking forward to his comments and appreciate his attendance today. It goes without saying you can never have too many Iowans at an Agriculture Advisory Committee meeting.

I am also pleased that the committee’s inaugural meeting under Chairman Massad focuses on the position limits proposal, and particularly issues related to deliverable supply calculations and the definition of bona fide hedging. As I noted when this rule was proposed over a year ago, Congress gave the agency broad authority to craft a position-limits rule that protects against excessive speculation without curtailing legitimate hedging activities. I will be interested to hear today’s comments about whether the definition of bona fide hedging is appropriately crafted to meet that charge. Likewise, I will be interested to hear views on the appropriate approach to calculating deliverable supply estimates.

I thank the witnesses for their testimony and the Agriculture Advisory Committee members for participation today.

Last Updated: December 9, 2014