Dan Roth, NFA: Shut up, sit down and behave
Although he was, as you’d expect, a little more subtle in his delivery than I have suggested, the testimony of Dan Roth, the president and chief executive of the US National Futures Association to Congress last week, was pretty punchy.
As we all know, politicians are frequently the masters of ‘testiculating’, which is the art of gesturing wildly and talking bollocks. Roth made it abundantly clear that this is what many of them have been doing while pontificating about the evils of the oil futures market.
“As I have followed the debate here in recent weeks about how to deal with energy prices, I’ve seen a lot more wild claims than I have seen disclosure of risks. I have seen a number of witnesses testify that Congress can reduce the price of energy by 50% within 30 days just by cracking down on futures markets. I have not heard even a shred of data or empirical information to support that claim, but it’s interesting that once a third witness agrees with that proposition it moves from testimony to conventional wisdom to a God given truth with the speed of light,” Roth pointed out.
In his concluding remarks, Roth stated. “The quick fix solutions currently being pitched to Congress carry with them substantial risks of unintended consequences that are real, that are foreseeable and that are potentially devastating. To enact these proposals would be to roll the dice on the American economy and would make the Congress of the United States the biggest speculator in our futures markets.” The full text, which is worth a read, can be found here.