According to Politico, though the Commodity Futures and Trading Commission (CFTC) is open again, it may still have trouble getting its employees back to work.
The CFTC is notoriously underfunded. The agency is in fact only slightly larger than it was 20 years ago, before taking on the swaps market and increasing their responsibility by tenfold—not including the massive growth in futures trading on top of that. And it seems many of its employees are tired of the squeeze.
A number of the agency’s employees decided that enough was enough during the government shutdown, which resulted in over 600 workers in the CFTC to be furloughed, and are now looking for work elsewhere. Ironically, many of these employees are only now officially leaving the agency, as the employees in charge of processing the paperwork were furloughed.
In hopes of raising CFTC staff morale, Chairman Gary Gensler will be holding a town hall meeting with the entire agency to try and bring employees together and address any of their concerns.
Outside of human resources, the CFTC has a lot on their plate as well. With the government shutdown happening jut as the CFTC’s mandated SEFs went live, they have a long list of questions to address. And Gensler is still hoping to push out the new “Volcker Rule” trading restrictions by the end of the year.
Having never dealt with recovering from a government shutdown before, Gensler was unable to give a definitive time frame for when the CFTC should be back in full swing.