March 07, 2016

Sen. Warren Seeks Information from CFTC Commissioner Giancarlo on Flawed Committee Report

Giancarlo Sponsored Committee that Approved Biased Report on CFTC Position Limits Rule

Text of the letter available here (PDF)


Washington, DC – Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) today asked Commodity Futures Trading Commissioner J. Christopher Giancarlo for additional information regarding new and troubling revelations about his role as the sponsor of the CFTC’s Energy and Environmental Markets Advisory Committee (EEMAC).   On February 25, 2016, the EEMAC released a report that was critical of the CFTC’s proposed rule on position limits for commodities futures and swaps.  Sen. Warren wrote to Giancarlo the same day asking that he withdraw the report because of significant legal, procedural, and substantive flaws. 


New information released at the public committee meeting on February 25th raised additional questions about the role of Dr. Craig Pirrong, a committee member and witness, and the relationship between Dr. Pirrong and Commissioner Giancarlo.  Dr. Pirrong has extensive financial ties and relationships with the energy industry, but these conflicts were not disclosed or addressed during committee meetings.  At the recent committee meeting, statements by Dr. Pirrong revealed that Giancarlo secretly tasked him with writing the final committee report, the draft of which was not shared with the public or with the full committee until later in the process.  


In her letter today, Senator Warren wrote, “the secretive process by which Dr. Pirrong came to write the report is deeply troubling … Dr. Pirrong had numerous undisclosed conflicts of interest, yet simultaneously served as both an associate member of the committee and a witness before the committee…(and) was secretly tasked to write the report. …This set of circumstances raises very serious questions about your rationale for choosing Dr. Pirrong to be a witness before the committee, an associate and then full voting committee member, and the author of the committee report.”


Sen. Warren asked Commissioner Giancarlo to provide copies of all his correspondence with Dr. Pirrong related to the EEMAC, and to provide a briefing on the decision to choose Dr. Pirrong to write the committee report and the process by which the report was drafted and approved. 


Read a PDF copy of Senator Warren’s letter here.