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CFTC Commissioner Michael Dunn on interacting with the industry while writing Dodd-Frank

During the 36th Annual International Futures Industry Conference this week, Commodity Futures Trading Commissioner Michael Dunn was asked a handful of questions about the Dodd-Frank rule-making process.

On concerns that regulatory compliance will be too difficult and expensive…

This industry is so nimble and so innovative. For every person who says ‘We can’t do that,’ I get two groups that say ‘We’ll figure it out. We’re going to get it done.’ As regulators, we have to make sure that we’re pragmatic about it to make sure that we accommodate that. … What we are looking at it is how to get things just right so the financial services industry can cooperate but there is enough capital reserves to take care of any emergencies that arise — whether we are looking at one bank or two banks.

On the difficulties inherent in writing all the Dodd-Frank rules…

We’re going to make mistakes. That’s the one thing I can say for certain. It’s really incumbent upon the industry and everyone to say ‘That’s not working.’ We have to be nimble enough to correct it when we get it wrong.

On the much-talked-about issue of CFTC funding …

I was in a room the other day and the chairman asked a group if industry representatives how many of them spend less than $21 million a year on technology. None of them raised their hand. That’s what we spend on technology. That’s just simply the tail wagging the dog and that is one of the major problems that we are going to have.