Lawmakers critical as US CFTC eyes position limits
WASHINGTON Dec 15 (Reuters) - The U.S. futures regulator is likely to propose limits this week on the share that anyone can hold in agriculture, energy and metals market in the spot month and for all months, said its chairman, Gary Gensler.
A final rule would be issued "as soon as we can sort out" the public comment, Gensler told a House panel on Wednesday. The new financial reform law ordered the Commodity Futures Trading Commission to adopt so-called "position limits" on futures, options and look-alike over-the-counter derivatives.
CFTC effectively was given a deadline of mid-January to set the limits. Gensler did not suggest the level at which limits would be set. He said a formula could be used at first, with details added later.
At a House Agriculture subcommittee hearing, Gensler said he was hopeful of support at a CFTC hearing on Thursday to propose the limits. "We're going to do everything we can," he said, to meet obligations under the law.
Republicans on the panel said CFTC should move more slowly. Frank Lucas, who will become Agriculture Committee chairman in January, said he was "willing to consider an easing of statutory deadlines." Jerry Moran, who will become a senator in January, said CFTC was rushing to issue a rule before it has adequate information on market size or appropriate limits. (Reporting by Charles Abbott)
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