According to Risk Magazine, former Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Christopher Cox explained at a hedge fund conference that he thinks there is bipartisan support for greater CFTC-SEC harmonization of derivatives rules, and noted the need for harmonizing overlapping regulatory authority of the agencies.

That sounds right from a 10,000 foot level–but interagency coordination is trickier than you’d think.  CFTC and the SEC have deceptively different mandates–the former to improve access for farmers, ranchers and businesses to safe financial services (namely, hedging) and the latter to achieve investor protection and enable capital formation.  Depending on which mandate you emphasize, policy choices can end up being quite different.

Other jurisdictions with single regulatory oversight have presumably more expertise balancing these kinds of trade-offs; harmonization between two staunchly independent regulators may end up being far more difficult and require examining policy decisions on a wide range of legacy programs.

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