Cantor Promises Oil Speculators That GOP Will Block Financial Regulations
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Uploaded on May 17, 2011
See post and transcript here http://thinkprogress.org/2011/05/18/e...
EXCLUSIVE: Eric Cantor Promises Oil Speculators That Republicans Will Block Financial Regulations
House Majority Leader Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) visited the Chicago headquarters of the CME Group, "the world's largest owner and operator" of private exchanges for derivatives products. CME Group specializes in a number of markets, including trading futures contracts for various blends of crude oil and food commodities. Cantor met with executives, and at one point, gave brief remarks before CME Group employees and various commodity speculators.
Cantor told the audience of speculators that his Republican caucus would "do our part" to block the implementation of financial reforms passed last year as part of the sweeping Dodd-Frank law. He even called out the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the regulators in charge of overseeing derivatives and energy speculation, and promised to stop regulations from going online:
Currently, energy speculation is at an all time record high. In 2008, according to many analysts, oil speculation — which took place on unregulated private exchanges owned by the CME Group and a set of international exchanges — spiked gas prices to unprecedented levels. Now, excessive oil speculation is again driving the pain at the pump. While Goldman Sachs has claimed that at least $25 of the current price of crude oil is due to speculation, financial experts contacted by ThinkProgress say the Goldman Sachs number is probably very conservative.
Although the Dodd-Frank reforms passed last year included a new mandate for regulators to curb rampant oil speculation, these regulations have not yet been implemented. Republicans, under Cantor's leadership, are working furiously to ensure that they never will be. For instance, Cantor's caucus has proposed massive budget cuts to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission — the regulatory body charged with overseeing oil speculators at the CME Group. As the New York Times has reported, CFTC regulators literally do not have enough money even for staplers, and can barely enforce laws on the books before even getting to new Dodd-Frank rules. In addition, Republicans are also pushing a separate bill to delay Dodd-Frank derivatives reforms for at least eighteen months.
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