President Obama has stated that he will be pushing for a CFTC budget increase to $280 million dollars this year.
While this will be a sizable increase to the CFTC budget, up 30 percent from the current $215 million, this new budget increase falls short from last year’s request of $315 million.
Though this is $35 million short of what the CFTC was looking for, it seems that anything at all will be welcome relief to the heavily underfunded Commission.
The CFTC’s budget and staff has seen very little increase over the past few years, even though it is now in charge of policing the $600 trillion dollar derivatives market after the 2008 financial crisis. Members of the Commission have stated on several occasions that they are in dire need of a budget increase, as they don’t currently have enough staff or the right technology to properly monitor the market.
The lack of funding is causing some unrest within the Commission, as many of its higher ranking members have left, citing low pay as one of the main reasons.
Yet the agency and Obama have struggled to get any sort of increase to the budget passed, as congress has blocked increases in an attempt to rein in budget deficits as well as to curb commission overreach.
With a shrunken request, and the Commission’s newfound leniency under acting chairman Mark Wetjen, it seems possible that a CFTC budget increase may just be a possibility.