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March 6, 2013

Better Markets’ Statement on the Potential Renomination of CFTC Chairman of Gary Gensler


“Better Markets applauds the White House for asking Chairman Gary Gensler to serve a second term as the Chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (‘CFTC’), the primary derivatives regulator in the U.S.  Chairman Gensler has done an exceptional job and has been a tireless advocate for implementing the critically important financial reform law designed to protect the American people from Wall Street and another devastating financial collapse and economic crisis,” said Dennis Kelleher, President of Better Markets, an independent, nonprofit organization that promotes the public interest in the financial markets.

“The law requires the CFTC to bring transparency, stability and oversight to the $647 trillion dark derivatives market where the last financial crisis was invisibly incubated, ignited the financial conflagration, and acted as a conveyor belt to transmit the crisis throughout the U.S. and global financial system.  That financial collapse was the worst since the Great Crash of 1929 and has caused the worst economy since the Great Depression.  The costs of that have been crippling, as an economic, fiscal and human matter.  That is what gave rise to the financial reform law in general and derivatives reforms in particular,” Mr. Kelleher said.

“Driven by Chairman Gensler’s unwavering commitment to protect the American people, in addition to his unique knowledge and experience, the CFTC has done an outstanding job in getting so much of the reform law in place so fast.  While Better Markets has not always agreed with all aspects of all the rules passed by the CFTC, no one can deny that it has achieved historic changes and done so in the face of unrelenting Wall Street and political opposition,” said Mr. Kelleher.

“Unfortunately, the CFTC’s hard work is not over.  Much remains to be done.  Worse, without the right leadership and commitment, much of what the CFTC has already accomplished can be undone.  Wall Street continues to use its unlimited resources to protect its profits at the expense of U.S. markets, taxpayers and economy,” Mr. Kelleher said.

“Gary Gensler is proof that committed, talented leadership can make a dramatic difference.  While it is reported that Chairman Gensler has not yet accepted the administration’s offer to renominate him, we urge him to accept.  If Chairman Gensler does not, then the administration must only consider candidates to lead the CFTC who have similar superior qualifications, experiences, skills and commitment to financial reform.  It also has to be someone not only willing and able to stand up to the powerful, rich and well-connected of Wall Street, but it must be someone with a demonstrated record of doing so.  Given the enormous challenges facing the CFTC, the importance of its mission to protect Main Street, the unending war Wall Street is conducting to cripple it and its rules, nothing less than the best will be adequate to the job,” concluded Mr. Kelleher. 

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