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US Senator Harkin: Mulling Greater OTC Market Regulation January 25, 2007

Posted by notapundit in Congress, Politics, US News.
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WASHINGTON (Dow Jones)–U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Tom Harkin,D-Iowa, said Thursday he is considering ways to increase regulatory oversight of the over-the-counter commodity markets.

“We are looking at how much jurisdiction the (Commodity Futures Trading Commission) ought to have,” he said. “We haven’t reached a conclusion on that, but we are looking at it.”

The American Public Gas Association Wednesday sent Harkin a letter asking him to advance a bill that would give the CFTC greater tools to regulate over-the-counter trades.

The group, which represents publicly owned natural gas utilities, said its main concern is that participants in the natural gas market can engage in manipulation strategies. The association pointed out that OTC markets are largely exempt from regulation despite the tens of thousands of trades transacted in those markets every day in natural gas contracts.

Natural gas utilities want the Commodity Futures Trading Commission to have the authority to collect information concerning all positions held by the largest traders in the natural gas derivatives markets, and to use that authority to police the markets.

By Maya Jackson Randall, Dow Jones Newswires

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