Paper Says Ag Leaders Slow Regulation Moves

Los Angeles Times story points to ag power moves for pressure against merging two major regulatory agencies.

Published on: Sep 8, 2009

A feature published by the Los Angeles Times takes a look at the move to merge the functions of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission with the Securities and Exchange Commission, and concludes that farm-state lawmakers will be a major roadblock to the process.

In the report, the paper notes that merging the two organizations would make it "difficult" to argue that the main oversight committees would be the agriculture committees. Such a change would cause those ag committees to lose a "significant amount or power" and potential campaign contributions, according to one source quoted.

The report notes the history of CFTC oversight starts in ag because those were the initial commodities the commission regulated - corn, soybeans, wheat and more. But as the markets have evolved to include credit default swaps, options and other complex instruments there has been talk of merging the two organizations.

In its report the Times says that even though President Obama wanted to combine the agencies to close regulatory gaps, many believe the ag committees were able to stop the idea. Instead, last week the SEC and CFTC held a joint meeting to discuss ways to eliminate gaps and policy differences in their oversight of the futures and options markets.

You can check out the complete story by clicking HERE.