SPEECHES & TESTIMONY

Giancarlo: Bipartisanship, Goodwill and Common Sense Guided CFTC Through Government Shutdown

 

January 28, 2019

 

Washington, DC - U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Chairman J. Christopher Giancarlo issued the following statement regarding the CFTC’s return to operations:

 

“Following the Friday evening announcement of the continuing resolution to reopen the government, the CFTC resumed operations.  Today, we enthusiastically welcomed back hundreds of employees to our offices in Washington, Kansas City, Chicago and New York.  We are grateful for the professional manner in which they handled the uncertainty of the shutdown.

 

“While the lapse in appropriations meant that much of the CFTC's work was required by law to cease, the CFTC continued to perform essential market-critical functions throughout the shutdown.  The agency was well prepared, utilizing its Lapse in Appropriations action plan adopted a year ago.  A small team of agency staff continued to monitor derivatives markets and ensured that essential enforcement activities were carried out. Personnel performing these excepted functions remained in communication throughout with key market participants and self-regulatory organizations. They deserve our thanks and gratitude.

 

“The particular nature and length of this shutdown required the CFTC to address many challenging and unprecedented issues.  This included assessing which agency activities became increasingly essential over time and recalling furloughed staff to perform these functions. Much of the analysis and response was handled by CFTC Chief of Staff Mike Gill, General Counsel Dan Davis and Executive Director Tony Thompson. They addressed complex questions in an intelligent and balanced fashion.

 

“Undoubtedly, the situation was a source of uncertainty, anxiety and even hardship for many CFTC employees and their families. The entire Commission and its senior staff were concerned throughout for their colleagues’ welfare. The situation was a reminder of the outstanding talent and capability of the CFTC’s workforce as well as their public service, for which we are grateful.

 

“Yet, what made the CFTC’s handling of the shutdown most effective was the goodwill and cooperation brought to bear by all five of its Commissioners.  Over five weeks, the Commissioners gathered together to hear reports from senior agency personnel about underlying market activity and discuss the handling of essential agency functions. I am indebted to Commissioners Brian Quintenz, Rostin Behnam, Dawn Stump and Dan Berkovitz for their engagement and support that enabled the CFTC to operate with bipartisan common sense during the past thirty-five days.

 

“In the days to come, we will update the public and market participants of the status of resumption of various agency activities, including publication of market data.  Today, I simply want to express gratitude for the grace and goodwill of our entire staff.  Welcome back!”