Lawmakers: CFTC soft on speculators

March 5, 2012 at 5:59 PM
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WASHINGTON, March 5 (UPI) -- Seventy lawmakers in Washington on Monday accused the Commodity Futures Trading Commission of being too soft on oil speculators.

In a letter letter put together by Sen. Bernard Sanders, Ind-Vt., members of the House and Senate said, "It is one of your primary duties -- indeed, perhaps your most important -- to ensure that the prices Americans pay for gasoline and heating oil are fair, and that the markets in which prices are discovered operate free from fraud, abuse, and manipulation."

The Los Angeles Times reported Monday that the CFTC approved of commodity trading restrictions in October, as directed to do so by the Dodd-Frank financial system overhaul bill of 2010.

However, the new restrictions have not been put into effect. The letter from Capitol Hill accuses the CFTC of being soft "owing to industry opposition."

"Although the CFTC has adopted initial position limits, they are not strong enough and not yet in force owing to industry opposition, delays in swaps oversight and data collection. This is simply unacceptable and must change," the letter says.

In addition, it says, "We have a responsibility to ensure that the price of oil is no longer allowed to be driven up by the same Wall Street speculators who caused the devastating recession that working families are now experiencing."

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