Chairwoman Stabenow Statement on CFTC Approval of Rule that Tightens Protection of Customer Funds

Washington, DC – Senator Debbie Stabenow, Chairwoman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, today issued the following statement regarding the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s approval of a new rule that would put tighter limits on how commodity firms can use customer funds. The rule, approved unanimously on a 5-0 vote, would place greater restrictions on the type of transactions that are alleged to have contributed to the collapse of MF Global, which filed for bankruptcy in October and is still missing an estimated $1.2 billion in customer funds.

“I applaud the Commission’s unanimous approval of this rule, which recognizes the fundamental principle of commodities trading: customer money must be held separate from the firm’s money,” Chairwoman Stabenow said. “This common-sense rule was first proposed last October. It is unfortunate that it took the collapse of MF Global to get it passed. The Commission needs to restore faith in our commodity markets, which are so important to America’s farmers and ranchers. I urge the Commission to continue moving forward to protect customers and safeguard these markets.”

The CFTC’s rulemaking authority was expanded under the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act to create greater oversight of the derivatives market and ensure that customers are protected against the types of transactions that contributed to the financial collapse of 2008. Chairwoman Stabenow has emphasized the need to place greater urgency on finalizing the rules, asking the CFTC to move forward promptly in its efforts.