By Max Fisher, Director of Economics and Government Relations
NGFA helped organize and participated in a Feb. 7 meet-and-greet with Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) nominee Heath Tarbert, during which he discussed his views on hedging, high-frequency trading and user fees, among other topics. Tarbert currently is assistant secretary for international markets and investment policy at the U.S. Department of the Treasury and on Jan. 9 was nominated by President Trump nominee to succeed current CFTC Chairman Chris Giancarlo when his term ends in April 2019.
Prior to joining Treasury, Tarbert was a partner at the international law firm of Allen & Overy LLP. He also was a special counsel to the Senate Banking Committee and a law clerk for Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. In his current role at Treasury, Tarbert manages the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), an interagency committee that investigates foreign direct investments into the United States for potential threats to national security. He also oversees the U.S. Treasury Department’s work streams on economic development, international financial stability, trade policy and negotiations, energy and infrastructure investments, and foreign technical assistance.
During the get-acquainted meeting, the NGFA discussed with Tarbert its views on the CFTC’s speculative position limit rule, including the importance of expressly including in a final rule as many “enumerated” bona fide hedging strategies as possible so they are not put at risk (as occurred during an early proposal by CFTC); encouraged the CFTC to continue monitoring CME Group’s implementation of block trading to ensure that pricing is appropriate and that block trading does not sap liquidity from the central limit order book; and highlighted issues surrounding high-frequency/algorithmic trading, including ensuring that all market participants observe trading rules.