CFTC to Ban ‘Political Futures’ Contracts: Chilton

They might be fun to take part in at the office, but “death pools,” or bets on political races — including the possibility of assassinations — won’t be allowed by the Commodities Futures Trading Commission, Commissioner Bart Chilton told CNBC Monday.


Chilton said “political futures contracts” will be disapproved by the agency during its next meeting later Monday. These contracts are based on the election of the president of the United States, and members of the House of Representatives and Senate.

"The Dodd-Frank law says we shouldn’t be doing any contracts that involve gaming or event-based contracts that are not in the public’s interest. So things like acts of terrorism or assassination, a celebrity death pool, or something like that…aren’t in the public’s interest," Chilton said.

These contracts currently trade on a number of markets, including Intrade. Chilton gave the creators of these contracts kudos for creativity, but he’d rather not give “the bold, federal flavor of regulation” to them, he said.

The CFTC has “a lot of serious things to be worrying about when it comes to Dodd-Frank and we need to keep our eye on the ball,” Chilton said.

He wouldn’t comment on the ongoing examination of Laurie Ferber, general counsel of MF Global, and efforts to claw back the more than $700 million in client funds that found their way to the company’s U.K. office.

He would only say that “our investigators are neck-deep in the investigation.”