CFTC position limit plan not expected soon - Gensler

Wed Jun 15, 2011 5:44pm BST

  * Lawmakers want CFTC to act with high energy prices
  * CFTC going to act "as soon as we humanly can" - Gensler
  By Christopher Doering
  WASHINGTON, June 15 (Reuters) - The head of the U.S.
Commodity Futures Trading Commission said the agency will not
introduce its long-awaited position limits plan anytime soon as
the futures regulator hears renewed calls from lawmakers
pushing it to act over high energy prices.
  The Dodd-Frank law gives the CFTC the power to set limits
on the positions investors can take to curb excessive
speculation "as appropriate" in energy, metals and agricultural
markets. The CFTC proposed its plan in January, and since then
has received an estimated 12,000 public comments on the
measure.
  U.S. lawmakers have turned up the heat on the CFTC to
impose position limits as U.S. oil prices CLc1 hover near
$100 a barrel and consumers pay nearly $4 a gallon for
gasoline.
 "I'm concerned that we haven't been moving ahead, at least
in the energy markets," Senator Amy Klobuchar, a Democrat, said
at a Senate Agriculture Committee hearing. "The recent run-up
had a significant impact on our economic recovery," she said.
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 Take a Look on CFTC's push for reform      [ID:nCFTCREG]
 CFTC moves to delay some swaps rules     [ID:nN14252810]
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 Despite the pressure, CFTC Chairman Gary Gensler told
lawmakers on Wednesday it would be some time before the agency
moves to finalize its position limits plan.
 "Nothing would please me more than to be able to calendar
that in the next week or two but that's not going to happen,"
Gensler told reporters after testifying, adding the agency
wanted to carefully review the public comments.
  "We're going to try to move this as soon as we humanly
can," Gensler earlier told lawmakers.
  The process could be a challenging one. Some of the
agency's own commissioners are skeptical the limits would
prevent a run-up in prices, and experts and traders have long
said the rules risk making markets more volatile by reducing
liquidity.
  The CFTC has said it will miss the July 16 deadline for
implementing dozens of rules contained in last year's
Dodd-Frank legislation, which gave it oversight of the $600
trillion global over-the-counter derivatives market. It
proposed on Tuesday a plan that would delay some swap rules
that had been set to go into effect on July 16 to ease growing
anxiety among traders and fend off possible legal challenges.
  Gensler this week laid out a rough roadmap of the agency's
rule-making schedule set to begin on July 7. The CFTC, which
will spend the remainder of the year finalizing rules, plans to
hold votes on anti-manipulation regulations, large trader
reporting, agricultural commodity definition and clearing
measures in July and early August.
  President Barack Obama has blamed speculators for driving
gasoline prices higher, saying there was enough oil in world
markets to meet demand. The administration created a working
group of federal agencies to probe potential fraud in the
energy markets.
 (Editing by Lisa Shumaker)







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