Washington—Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) released the following statement after the chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), Timothy Massad, proposed a one-year delay in lowering the de minimis threshold for swap dealer registration:
“I was disappointed to hear CFTC Chairman Massad propose a delay in lowering the registration threshold for enhanced reporting requirements and oversight of swap dealers. Lowering the threshold would ensure more adequate oversight, particularly in the energy markets.
“I understand the dangers of unregulated energy markets. The Western energy crisis cost American consumers an estimated $45 billion in higher electricity costs, lost business due to blackouts and a slowdown in economic growth.
“Along with my West Coast colleagues, I have repeatedly raised concerns that the current threshold may prevent proper oversight of the energy markets. Chairman Massad has stated the CFTC cannot sufficiently address those concerns with the current data available. Without such information, I find it troubling that the CFTC would consider delaying the lower threshold rather than err on the side of broader market protection.
“The CFTC already provided swap dealers five years to prepare for the lower threshold. I would encourage Chairman Massad to reconsider this proposal and the CFTC commissioners to reject it. The American public should not be left vulnerable to another crisis caused by insufficient oversight.”