CFTC’s Giancarlo Lays Out Aggressive Policy Agenda

Christopher Giancarlo, President Donald Trump’s pick to lead the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, on Wednesday laid out a policy agenda that calls revising “flawed” swaps rules and having the CFTC play a more influential role on the Financial Stability Oversight Council.

Giancarlo, the CFTC’s acting chairman, said he wants to change Dodd-Frank swaps trading requirements that isolate U.S. market participants from global transactions and slice the market into “liquidity pools” that limit overall growth.

The CFTC “must allow market participants to choose the manner of trade execution best suited to their swaps trading and liquidity needs and not have it chosen for them by the federal government,” he said in prepared remarks at the International Futures Industry conference in Boca Raton, Fla.

Giancarlo (R) also called for the agency to assert more influence on FSOC to oppose bank capital requirements that he sees as burdensome to trading markets, adding that the CFTC will release a review of financial technology issues.

On Tuesday, the White House said Trump intends to nominate Giancarlo as chairman of the CFTC.

In today’s speech, Giancarlo announced a broad review of agency regulations, saying he plans to sift through agency rules to apply them in ways that are less costly and burdensome, a project he called “Project KISS,” for “Keep It Simple, Stupid.”

That priority aligns with the Trump administration’s efforts to cull what it views as unnecessary regulations, though independent regulators like the CFTC are not bound by Trump’s recent executive order directing agencies to form task forces to target regulatory burdens.

“This exercise is not about identifying existing rules for repeal or even rewrite,” Giancarlo said. “It is about taking our existing rules as they are and applying them in ways that are simpler, less burdensome and less of a drag on American economy.”

Giancarlo also said he wants to create a chief market intelligence officer position and separate market intelligence and surveillance operations, in order to “regulate smarter.”