"Call to Curb Speculators in Energy"

"The country's top regulator of commodity markets said Tuesday that the government should 'seriously consider' strict limits on the trades of purely financial investors in the futures markets for oil, natural gas and other energy products.

Opening the first of three hearings on proposals to curb speculative trading and reduce volatile price swings in oil and gas, the chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission made it clear that he favored tighter volume limits on noncommercial traders -- banks, hedge funds and other financial institutions -- that account for a big share of trading in energy contracts.

'The C.F.T.C. is in the best position to apply limits across different exchanges, and we are most able to strike a balance between competing interests and the responsibility to protect the American public,' the commission chairman, Gary Gensler, said. 'I believe we must seriously consider setting strict position limits in the energy markets.'"

Edmund L. Andrews reports for the New York Times July 28, 2009.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009