Regulators Call Futures Reform Bill Too Tough
Federal regulators told a Senate committee Tuesday that proposed legislation to reform the nation’s futures industry gives them more power than they want.
Wendy L. Gramm, chairwoman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, said her agency neither needs nor wants authority to conduct undercover operations like the one that resulted in 46 indictments this summer in Chicago’s freewheeling commodities pits.
“I believe the current situation, with the FBI having the authority is sufficient,” Gramm told the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee, which is considering legislation to reform the futures markets and finance CFTC, which oversees them.
Gramm also said she believed that 17 of the indicted traders still were working in the pits, including some handling customer orders. She expressed concern about it but said the regulatory agency had to balance that against the rights of the accused, who haven’t been convicted of any crime.
She also said there was no need to give CFTC power to order crooked brokers to pay restitution to customers they have cheated.