Office of the Chief Economist

Mission Statement

The mission of the Office of the Chief Economist (OCE) of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) is to conduct rigorous economic and econometric analysis of derivatives markets; to foster market transparency by disseminating its research to market participants and the general public; and to partner with other CFTC divisions and offices to integrate economic reasoning and data analysis into Commission policy and cost-benefit considerations.

A list of the current members of the Office of the Chief Economists can be found on our Biographies page, which includes backgrounds as well as research interests. The office is led by Bruce Tuckman (Chief Economist) and Scott Mixon (Supervisory Economist).

Featured Research

Assessing the Impact of the Basel III Leverage Ratio on the Competitive Landscape of US Derivatives Markets: Evidence from Options (Richard Haynes, Lihong McPhail, and Haoxiang Zhu)

  • Market participants argue that the recent leverage ratio has become the binding constraint for certain, often low-risk derivatives businesses, such as client clearing.
  • We examine the potential effect of the Basel III leverage ratio on cleared equity futures options, products where the leverage ratio demands particularly high capital relative to risk.
  • We find that the clearing of equity options has shifted from firms subject to higher leverage requirements (e.g., US GSIB banks) to those subject to a lower requirement (e.g., banking affiliate of EU firms and non-banks).
  • We find that the shift in market shares is most evident in low-delta options, which have relatively small risk for a given notional amount, and is absent in US Treasury futures options, which are subject to a lower requirement.

For older research projects, please visit our Research Papers website.

Information on Academic Collaboration

The Office of the Chief Economist frequently collaborates with academics on research projects focused on financial markets. Often, these projects will make use of one or more of the data sets the agency receives as part of its program of regulatory oversight and monitoring. Many papers have resulted in publications in prominent academic journals. A selection of papers from these collaborations can be found on our Research Papers page.