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Nov. 12, 2013

Nominee for Commodities Regulator Chair Must Pledge to Support Main Street, Not Wall Street

Public Citizen Seeks Commitments from CFTC Nominee Timothy Massad

Today, President Barack Obama will nominate Treasury official Timothy Massad as chairman of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). The CFTC oversees complex and often shadowy financial transactions that were a leading cause of the financial meltdown, so strong, continuous leadership is required of its chair. Tyson Slocum, director of Public Citizen’s Energy Program, and Lisa Gilbert, director of Public Citizen’s Congress Watch division, issued the following statement:

We need a CFTC chairman who will stand up to the Wall Street interests that aim to block the agency from doing its job. In short, we need a chairman who will prioritize the needs of Main Street over Wall Street.

Timothy Massad’s views on most of the key issues before the CFTC are not known.

As they consider his nomination, senators should seek a firm commitment from Massad to:

  • Aggressively rein in excessive speculation in commodity markets.
  • Support policies that prioritize the needs of producers and consumersin commodity markets, and limit the influence of financial firms like Wall Street banks.
  • Significantly curtail the ability of high-frequency trading firms to disrupt the market. The firms have an advantage over those market participants who do not use or cannot afford access to high frequency trading technology. Launch an investigation into abuses of transactions between energy infrastructure affiliates and proprietary trading affiliates.
  • Commit to fully implement Dodd-Frank consumer protection provisionsin a timely manner, and work to navigate the joint agency rulemakings outlined in the legislation.
  • Address the role index funds play in raising consumer prices.

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