SEC's Cox Backs Merger of Agency With CFTC

Discussion in 'Wall St. News' started by RedDuke, Oct 24, 2008.

  1. RedDuke


    If anything, CFTC should take over SEC. CFTC is doing it sjob properly, where SEC is just a temp place for lawyers before they move to Corporation they were supposed to police.

    From WSJ:

    Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Christopher Cox said he strongly supports merging his agency with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

    Former SEC chiefs have promoted closer collaboration between the agencies, or an SEC takeover of the CFTC, which regulates the futures markets, but it was the first time that Mr. Cox has called for a merger.

    His endorsement came during a tense House Oversight Committee hearing where lawmakers sought to hold Mr. Cox, former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan and former Treasury Secretary John Snow accountable for lax regulation leading up to the financial crisis. Congressional leaders are aiming to overhaul oversight.

    Some lawmakers who staunchly opposed past efforts to merge the agencies are now more open to the idea.

    CFTC Commissioner Bart Chilton, a Democrat, said there is "logical strength" to Mr. Cox's idea. But because the agencies have different mandates -- the SEC, to protect investors, and the CFTC, to regulate the futures market -- "the issue of merger is not so simple," Mr. Chilton said.

    The CFTC declined to comment on the proposal.

    Both agencies recently urged regulation of credit default swaps, an unregulated insurance-like contract that has played a central role in the financial crisis. On Thursday, Mr. Cox reiterated that call and said Congress must act this year.

    Appeals for merging the agencies haven't led to substantive changes, partly because of jurisdictional battles on Capitol Hill. Agriculture committees oversee the CFTC, which began by regulating cattle and wheat futures, but whose mandate has grown to include financial futures. The Banking and Finance committees have oversight of the SEC, which oversees securities markets. Neither committee has wanted to cede jurisdiction.

    Mr. Cox, who hasn't pushed for tighter regulation since becoming SEC chairman in 2005, also suggested establishing a bipartisan task force to develop a future regulatory oversight structure.

    "A select committee could address these urgent questions from a comprehensive standpoint. It could tackle the challenge of merging the SEC and the CFTC, which I strongly support," he said.

    Rep. Henry Waxman, chairman of the House Oversight panel, said the recommendations seemed reasonable. But he added: "The reality, Mr. Cox, is you weren't doing that job of proposing these regulations beforehand. You either didn't anticipate the problem or you agreed with the philosophy that we didn't need regulation."
  2. rwk


    Combining the two agencies makes sense, but I agree that CFTC should take over SEC. I recall a former SEC chairman (don't recall who) saying he didn't see any reason futures should have more leverage than equities. Putting the SEC in charge would kill the futures market for sure.
  3. how does the CFTC has remain more professional than the SEC?