Patrick H. Arbor

U.S. Futures Exchanges Face “Mission Impossible”

For U.S. futures exchanges, controlling costs while maintaining market performance is an ongoing, difficult challenge. New market realities have made that challenge even more daunting in recent years as costs have escalated, competition has expanded, and the role of information technology has expanded. It is always difficult for regulatory statutes to keep pace with ever-changing markets. Futures markets are no exception. The basic statutory framework represented by the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA) was enacted in 1922, over seventy years ago. In order to maintain appropriate regulatory balance, periodic review and reform has been essential over the years. Our current federal regulatory systems were built for different markets with different competitive realities than we face today. Reforming the CEA to take into account those new market realities is vital to the survival of U.S. futures exchanges.