Budget Rift at CFTC Pulls Plug on Alarm Budget Rift at CFTC Pulls Plug on Alarm

By JEAN EAGLESHAM And VICTORIA MCGRANE

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission has halted development of a technology program used to flag suspicious trading because of an $11 million cut in its technology budget, increasing rancor within the small agency about how it should spend its money.

The funding shortfall is forcing Republicans and Democrats in the CFTC to advocate competing visions of the future of the agency, established in 1974 to police trading of oil, natural gas, silver and other commodities in the $40 trillion futures market.

Scott O’Malia, a Republican commissioner, favors big investments in technology. Democrats, led by CFTC chairman Gary Gensler, would rather use funds to increase staff by 46%.

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