The Commodity Futures Trading Commission has been at the center of a fight to regulate the derivatives that were at the center of the 2008 crash. This fight took center stage when CFTC Commissioner Bart Chilton recently gave what is arguably the most aggressive interview ever by a regulator. Not since former CFTC Chairperson Brooksley Born confronted big bank forces in 1998 regarding unregulated derivatives and was essentially ousted from office by these same big bank forces has a CFTC commissioner been so outspoken regarding the stealth control of the largest banks.
Seldom do regulators confront other regulators in public for protecting the banks. In this interview, Chilton discloses how the US Federal Reserve has refused to provide big bank position limits to the CFTC, which is charged with monitoring such activity. “I’m a CFTC Commissioner and I’ve been trying to find out what the banks own in the way of commodities and I can’t tell you what their positions are,” Chilton said in the interview. “I’ve been trying to find out from the Federal Reserve, which has this information, since the end of July 2013. I’ve asked the Federal Reserve to send me a list, give me a link to the information they have. I receive links but they go to nowhere where I can see the information.”
Chilton then took aim at a more troubling issue: the overwhelming influence large banks have in controlling a democratic society. “We have these large banks owning all sorts of things that we are not unaware of. There is a theoretical conflict of interest and some problems with the law,” Chilton noted. “Do we really want banks influencing our media? Owning our cable companies, phone companies, our grocery stores and movie studios?”
Other issues addressed in the interview included a discussion of “malfeasance” in the MF Global case, the fact that had the Obama administration come to Chilton earlier in 2013 he would have stayed to finish rule writing on Dodd Frank, and Chilton clearly points the finger at unregulated derivatives for the 2008 market crash.
To read the full interview, click on this link:
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