Brian Quintenz, a Commissioner of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, bemoaned the recent cut in yearly funding for the Commission in the 2018 federal budget, forcefully blaming the two prior CFTC chairmen, in particular Gary Gensler, for the Commission’s poor standing with Congress. According to Mr. Quintenz, Mr. Gensler’s decision to lease most of the CFTC’s current headquarters building in 2009 on unfavorable terms – anticipating an increase in responsibilities and more staff as a result of the then contemplated but not yet passed Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act – “caus[ed] Congress to question the agency’s fiscal responsibility and annual requests for increased funding.” Mr. Quintenz claimed that “political gamesmanship with Congressional appropriations” also occurred under CFTC Chairman Timothy Massad, albeit to a lesser extent. The CFTC’s budget for 2018 was cut by US $1 million to US $249 million. Mr. Quintenz suggested that the current budget will only support 636 full-time employees by the end of 2018. He said the Commission employed 715 FTE as recently as 2016.
(Click here for background on the CFTC's issues with its headquarters' lease in the article, "Inspection Unit Criticizes CFTC's Renting of Unused Office Space" in the May 15, 2016 edition of Bridging the Week.)