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90% of CFTC employees could be furloughed in a government shutdown

A stock ticker displays Wal-Mart Stores and Exxon Mobil stock information in front of the New York Stock Exchange. U.S. stocks meandered Friday following a report that regulators are close to further easing banking rules, while the government shutdown drama in Washington weighed on the dollar.

About 90% of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission's employees could be furloughed if the federal government shuts down at 12:01 a.m. EST Saturday, according to a CFTC memo sent to Pensions & Investments.

Sixty-nine of the CFTC's 675 employees would be exempt from furloughs "because their work is necessary to address an imminent risk to the safety of human life and the protection of property," according to the memo from the CFTC to the federal Office of Management and Budget dated Friday.

Exempt employees would allow stock markets, commodities and futures exchanges to continue operating under government supervision, the memo said.

"The limited contingent of excepted employees has been identified to ensure … the oversight of the derivatives markets and to police those markets to ensure they are free of fraud and manipulation," the memo said.

Chairman J. Christopher Giancarlo and commissioners Rostin Behnam and Brian Quintenz are exempt from furlough as presidential appointees, the memo said. Their staffs are also exempt.

The furlough policy was created by the CFTC in July 2015.