Thursday the House of Representatives voted to approve a bipartisan bill to increase the transparency, oversight, and anti-manipulation authority over commodity futures and options markets. The House overwhelmingly passed H.R. 6604, the Commodity Markets Transparency and Accountability Act of 2008, a bill sponsored by House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson, D-Minn., by a vote of 283-133. Earlier this summer it did not pass, unable to meet the two-thirds majority required by rules during the time the legislation was brought up.
H.R. 6604 strengthens trader position limits on oil and other futures markets as a way to prevent potential price distortions caused by excessive speculative trading. It directs the CFTC to get a clearer picture of the over-the-counter (OTC) markets, and it calls for new full-time CFTC staff to improve enforcement, prevent manipulation, and prosecute fraud.