Commodity Markets Council Appoints Doud as President

For Immediate Release        

                        

May 17, 2013

Contact:  Meghan Tran

Meghan.Tran@commoditymkts.org

(202) 842-0400 ext. 104

Commodity Markets Council Appoints Doud as President

The Commodity Markets Council (CMC), an association dedicated to open and competitive global commodity markets, today announced that Gregg Doud has been appointed as its new President. Doud will lead CMC in its mission to represent some of the most important commodity-related businesses in the grains, energy, metals and livestock industries to advocate for free, open and robust commodity markets in the U.S. and around the world.

“We’re excited to bring Gregg on board. His Washington experience, including his time on the Senate Agriculture Committee staff and his extensive background in commodity markets and legislative and regulatory issues, make him an excellent choice to build on CMC’s growing presence in Washington DC and with policymakers globally,” said CMC Chairman Charlie Carey. “Gregg’s leadership and advocacy on commodity markets policy will be vital during this critical time for this industry.”

Doud served on the Senate Agriculture Committee staff for Senators Pat Roberts and most recently Thad Cochran where he managed issues relating to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, livestock and international trade. Prior to this, Doud spent eight years as Chief Economist of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. He has also worked for the agricultural commodity consulting firm World Perspectives and U.S. Wheat Associates. He received his Bachelor’s degree in Agriculture and an MS in Agricultural Economics from Kansas State University.

The Commodity Markets Council is a trade association bringing together commodity exchanges with their industry counterparts. The activities of its members represent the complete spectrum of commercial users of all futures markets. Specifically, their industry member firms are regular users of CME Group markets, including the Chicago Board of Trade, Chicago Mercantile Exchange and New York Mercantile Exchange, ICE Futures U.S., the Kansas City Board of Trade and the Minneapolis Grain Exchange.

 

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Coalition Letter Asks President to Welcome Japan into TPP

The food and agricultural organizations and companies that signed onto this letter strongly support the entry of Japan into the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations and urge the United States and the other members of the TPP to welcome Japan as a full member as quickly as possible.

Click here to read the submitted letter.

President’s Anti-Speculation Campaign Draws Skepticism

Under pressure to address high gasoline prices in a politically charged election cycle, President Obama outlined an initiative to strengthen oversight of energy markets.  It is important to note that some of the President’s proposals require significant budget increases – including an additional $52 million in CFTC funding.  To garner such increased appropriations as lawmakers ready for the campaign trail with the budget a hot-button issues seems highly unlikely.

The President plan would:

1)      Increase funding to increase the number of surveillance and enforcement staff charged with oversight of the oil futures market;

2)      Allow the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) to upgrade the technology used to monitor the energy markets;

3)      Increase the civil and criminal penalties for those convicted of manipulating the oil futures market;

4)      Provide the CFTC with additional the authority to limit disruptions in the oil market, including allowing the CFTC to direct exchanges to raise margin requirements; and

5)      Expand access to CFTC data so that analysts can better understand trading trends in the oil markets.

CME Group quickly issued a response warning the Administration against “mistakenly categorizing speculation as a form of manipulation.”  Moreover, CME Group defended the exchange’s right to set margins.  “The Administration must recognize that exchanges, as operators of regulated energy markets, are in the best position to monitor volatility and manage margin requirements,” CME Group said.

Potentially noteworthy: In his Rose Garden speech unveiling the initiative President Obama invoked Enron as a cautionary tale.  A day later, CFTC Chairman Gensler also invoked Enron as justification for the swap dealer rule.  Ten years later, Enron continue to have political traction.

Carried interest break gets Democratic backers

Among the sticking points in the debt ceiling debate is the White House and Democratic drive to change the treatment of “carried interest,” taxing fund managers’ bonuses at the higher rate that applies to personal income, not the lower one for capital gains.

The stakes are high for the Treasury and for the private equity and hedge fund industries, which are fighting the change hard, and they just got a boost from two Congressional Democrats, Jared Polis and Mike Quigley, who signed a new letter to President Obama defending the current treatment of carried interest.

“Such a tax increase would not only damage our already fragile economic recovery, but it would also cripple the spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship that makes our country so strong,” they write, arguing that the current lower taxes on carried interest encourage private equity investments “in new, untapped markets.”

The two dismiss the notion that the change would merely close a “loophole” and write that the tax would “devastate” other areas of the economy as well, including the struggling commercial real estate industry.

The full letter is here.