John Kemp is a Reuters market analyst. The views expressed are his own.
Major swap dealing banks and associations representing the financial services industry have been engaging intensively with the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) over the last two years to shape the myriad new rules the commission has been crafting to implement the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act.
Since 2010, the CFTC has published a brief summary of all meetings between outside organizations and commissioners or staff about the implementation of Dodd-Frank regulations, in a bid to improve the transparency of the rulemaking process. The records provide only very limited information about the participants at each meeting and the topic(s) discussed. But they do provide some indication of the intensity and focus of interactions between industry and the commissioners.
The table below summarizes meetings between each of the five commissioners and the major banks and financial services lobbying organizations since the start of 2012, compiled from records published on the commission’s web site:
It overstates the total number of meetings since some are counted more than once, when a commissioner met more than one bank or organization at the same time.
For example, on March 13, CFTC records show Commissioner Scott O’Malia held a single meeting attended by representatives from Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan and Barclays as well as Newedge and Professor Ron Filler from New York Law School, to discuss “general” rulemaking.
Nevertheless, a broad pattern emerges of engagement between the industry and different commissioners since the start of the year.
The records show a much higher level of interaction (measured by phone calls and meetings) with O’Malia (a strong advocate for rigorous cost-benefit analysis) and the newest commissioner Mark Wetjen (who was only sworn in last October and is seen as a possible swing voter) than any of the three others.