The Senate Banking Committee today held a hearing not just to belabor the MF Global case, but also to consider the need for an investor-protection facility like the FDIC or other reforms to protect commodity-market customers. While Chairman Johnson (D-SD) sought support for a customer protection fund comparable to SIPC for the futures market, Ranking Member Shelby (R-AL) focused his energies on criticizing regulators, particularly CFTC Chairman Gensler. Trustee witnesses pressed for higher personal liability for senior executives and suitability requirements for commodities investors, receiving some bipartisan interest. CFTC Commissioner Sommers reiterated that the agency will standardize its customer protection rules for domestic and foreign transactions, and a senior SEC staffer indicated that broker-dealer protection is also under active review. This report analyzes today’s hearing.
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