Earlier this week the House Agriculture Committee met to hear testimony and discuss legislation to improve the transparency and accountability of the derivatives market. Rep. Larry Kissell, NC-08 proposed an amendment to this legislation that will help lend some good old fashioned common sense to the boards that oversee the commodities market. His proposal will require that farmers, ranchers and grain elevator operators - average Americans directly affected by commodities trading - have a seat on these boards. This will diversify the boards and take some power from the financial elite that have a grip on the financial services industry as a whole. The amendment was approved by the committee and included with the legislation.
Commodity Futures Trading Commissioner, Bart Chilton, had this to say:
Congressman Kissell showed what a difference a proactive leader working for consumers can accomplish. Within weeks of being sworn in as a Member of Congress, Larry Kissell took a tough issue and fought against the monied interests. His amendment will ensure that consumers, farmers and average citizens will have an increasing voice in decision-making in this industry. Exchange boards, and other regulated entities like investment banks that are publicly-traded, will have average citizens on their boards. That will make us better as a nation thanks to Congressman Kissell.
As Larry questioned the gentlemen giving testimony he was the same Larry we've come to know and respect. He was modest and showed through his questions that he was concerned about the average families who were hurt by the steep increases in the prices of food, gas and fuel oil that we see when speculation drives their prices unnaturally high.
Larry explained his amendment:
I think that it is very important that we keep our commodity exchanges financially stable and healthy. I believe that adding the common sense of farmers, ranchers, grain operators, and consumers will do just that.
Common sense has come to Washington and his name is Larry Kissell.