(NAFB)--Senate Agriculture Committee Chair Debbie Stabenow convened the first official hearing in the committee’s Commodity Futures Trading Commission reauthorization effort Wednesday. Stabenow said the committee must examine lessons from past market failures as it reauthorizes the CFTC to avoid repeat crises like the 2008 near-collapse of global financial markets that left eight-million men and women without jobs. She said the committee wants to make sure the agency responsible for protecting these markets has the authority, staff and modern technology needed to do its job.
Stabenow also cited the collapse of MF Global and its loss of 1.2-billion dollars in segregated customer funds as a critical reminder of why it’s important to make sure the markets are transparent and functioning as needed. She noted the committee has been closely monitoring the MF Global case - with a focus on getting customers their money back, holding anyone engaged in wrongdoing accountable and ensuring that proper customer protections are in place so something similar doesn’t happen again.
Committee members heard from a range of witnesses including market participants, end users and regulators. Stabenow said additional hearings will be announced in the coming weeks.