Commissioner O’Malia on the CFTC: More Technology, Less Insanity

According to, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s Scott O’Malia is hoping to see some changes to the CFTC over the next year.

O’Malia has been rather vocal in his disagreement with many of the CFTC’s moves recently, feeling that the Commission was acting overly aggressive in its rulemaking process, going as far as to call its recent attempts at cross-border trading regulation “regulatory insanity.”

Commissioner O’Malia’s sentiment may see some affirmation soon, as the several Wall Street organizations filed a lawsuit against the organization over these very rules just this Wednesday, claiming that the Commission had over stepped its boundaries, and that it did not give affected parties enough time to comment on the proposed rules before implementation.

O’Malia is hoping that the CFTC will be able to work more effectively with overseas regulators, who have also criticized the Commission’s rule making process. O’Malia would like to see the CFTC begin to slow down a bit and focus on writing up regulation more efficiently, citing the 130 exemptions and no-action letters it has had to issue over the 67 rules the Commission has implemented as cause for concern.

Outside of its rule making procedures, O’Malia has also expressed desire for the CFTC to ramp up its technology department. The commissioner feels that the CFTC is extremely outdated, and has stated that it would take the organization weeks to produce even rather basic statistics on SEF trading. As the alpha watchdog of an over 600 trillion dollar market that is constantly updating its own technology, it’s easy to understand O’Malia’s concern with the notoriously underfunded commission’s ability to keep up.

With CFTC chairman Gary Gensler, and Commissioner Bart Chilton– both of whom are considered extremely aggressive in terms of Wall Street reform– stepping down soon, it seems possible that O’Malia may very well see some of the changes he is hoping for come to fruition, though whether or not the CFTC receives the funding it needs is still anyone’s guess.


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