Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Singing from the Same Hymnbook

It seems while I've been away on holiday the regulators and exchanges are all holding hands and pledging their troth to each other. ICE has agreed to provide the CFTC with trade data. The CFTC has strong-armed the FSA into cooperating in trying to reign in oil speculation (even as the FSA continues to claim that the 2007 spike in prices was supply and demand). And now the SEC and the CFTC are joining hands and trying to find a page in the hymnbook that they can sing together. In the past it would seem the SEC was the experienced baritone while the CFTC was the squeeky young tenor. But since Gary Gensler's arrival, the CFTC has grown a pair and seems to be going in the right direction. The SEC remains unwieldy in size and still has too few ex-traders to help build better investigative practices. Plus it has not been given any sharper 'teeth' by the Obama administration, as far as I can see. Until it has the authority and manpower to actively investigate the dodgy goings on in our industry, little can be achieved. The administration and the regulators should heed President Obama's words and not waste this crisis.

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