Clinton opposes recommendation to drop limits on futures contracts

Reuters News
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Posted: Feb 25, 2016 7:16 PM

By Amanda Becker

COLUMBIA, S.C. (Reuters) - A top adviser to Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton urged a U.S. regulator on Thursday to not abandon a proposal to limit the number of futures contracts traders can hold on certain commodities.

A committee advising the Commodity Futures Trading Commission has urged it to drop its plan to cap the futures contracts traders can hold on commodities such as oil and natural gas, The New York Times reported Wednesday.

Gary Gensler, a Clinton adviser and former CFTC head, told Reuters the former secretary of state believes “these limits are a critical tool in curbing excessive speculation and protecting the integrity of markets” and should be finalized.

"Congress has provided for such rules since the 1930s to ensure that no single trader has too large a share of the market and that agricultural, energy and metals markets remain fair and competitive," Gensler said in a statement provided to Reuters.

Clinton believes the rule would protect “consumers, farmers and manufacturers from excessive speculation,” Gensler added.

Clinton, who is fending off a challenge from U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, is fresh off a victory in the Nevada primary and the two will face off in South Carolina on Saturday.

A major theme in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination has been how to best rein in the excesses of Wall Street. Both Clinton and Sanders have released plans about how they would curb excessive market speculation.

The committee advising the CFTC on the limits rule was created by the Dodd-Frank Act and includes members from the energy trading industry, such as from the CME Group and Intercontinental Exchange.

The New York Times reported that eight of nine members concluded that there was “scant evidence” the limits are needed. The lone dissenter was from a public advocacy group.

(Reporting by Amanda Becker; Editing by Leslie Adler)