Stocks & Commodities V. 25:5 (34-37): Sidebar: Save the COT!, How to build your own COTS database by Alex Roslin
The Commitments of Traders reports are safe. Thanks to an overwhelming public outburst of support, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission says the 44-year-old reports won’t be discontinued. The commission announced in December 2006 it would keep publishing the data unchanged and start a new weekly report for some agricultural commodities to reflect the rise of index trading.
“The reports will continue,” says John Fenton, the commission’s director of market surveillance.
The commission sparked an outcry last June when it issued a call for comments on the reports, suggesting the data may be skewed by changing patterns in trading activity in some commodities. The notice asked for public comment on whether the reports provide a
“public benefit” and should be discontinued. It said it was under no legal or regulatory obligation to keep publishing the data.
An unprecedented 4,659 responses came from 23 countries — by far the largest number the commission has received in response to such a notice in its 31-year history. (The previous record was 1,062 comments.)
The response was unanimous. Not one respondent said the reports should go. “Please do not discontinue this very valuable report,” one said. “Don’t you dare,” said another. “Leave it alone, you knuckleheads,” the CFTC was advised. “Save the COT.”
Instead of dropping the reports, the commission decided to break out a new index trader category for 12 commodities, drawn from the current commercial and noncommercial groups. The new report will be tried as a pilot project for two years. The CFTC will then decide
whether to expand it to other physical commodities.