by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
… more money, of course! That’s the argument made in a recent Bloomberg Businessweek article about the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, “the federal agency assigned to oversee the swaps market.”
Now that the government has reopened, the CFTC should finally be able to scrutinize the banks and cry foul at suspicious swaps that could crash the economy, right? Not really. Woefully understaffed, underfunded, and outmatched, the CFTC doesn’t have the tools it needs to keep up with Wall Street. “All the work we’ve done up to now is at risk because we don’t have enough budget resources,” says CFTC Chairman Gary Gensler. “Rulemaking should not be confused with having enough staff or technology to actually oversee the swaps market. To do that, we need hundreds of more people to swim through all this data, to examine it, to answer questions about it, and to ensure it’s accurate.”
You might be shocked — shocked! — to learn that the infamous Dodd-Frank financial reform legislation set up this no-win scenario for taxpayers.