Commodity Futures Trading Commission Chairman Gary Gensler announced on July 7 that the CFTC will conduct a series of hearings in July and August on various issues facing the agency. The first hearing, for which a date has not been set, will focus on speculative position limits, in particular whether the CFTC should set limits on all commodities of finite supply (including energy commodities). Currently, the CFTC sets position limits on agricultural commodities, while the several futures exchanges set limits or position accountability levels on all other commodities. This first hearing will also continue the CFTC’s ongoing review of the potential elimination of the “bona fide hedge” exemption from speculative position limits for certain categories of non-commercial traders.
Chairman Gensler also announced certain changes to the CFTC’s weekly “Commitments of Traders” reports. Positions held by swaps dealers and professionally managed positions (such as hedge funds) will be presented separately, and the reports will include data on (i) contracts listed on a foreign board of trade that settle to a U.S. contract, and (ii) significant price discovery contracts. The CFTC will also continue to release a report on the market activities of swap dealers and index traders, initially on a quarterly basis, based on data gathered through the CFTC’s ongoing special call for information on these market participants.