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November 13, 2013

President Obama says Timothy Massad his pick to lead CFTC

President Barack Obama on Tuesday said he will nominate Treasury Department official Timothy Massad to be chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission — the derivatives regulator charged with policing complex financial markets that played a key role in the 2008 financial crisis.

“Massad would replace Gary Gensler, a former Goldman Sachs executive and Clinton-era Treasury official who transformed the small agency into a powerful Wall Street watchdog under new authorities gained from the 2010 Dodd-Frank law.

“’I have every confidence that he is the right man to lead an agency that is designed to prevent future crises,’ Obama said at a White House event announcing the choice.

The CFTC has been at the center of several contentious battles involving the implementation of Dodd-Frank, with reform advocates cheering on Gensler’s efforts to write tough new rules while Wall Street bankers and other business executives warn that the agency is being overzealous.”

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News of Massad’s nomination has been out for weeks and on Tuesday some of the Democrats who want the commission to continue with Gensler’s aggressive approach issued cautious statements saying they looked forward to speaking with the nominee.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who along with Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), put a hold on Gensler’s nomination in 2009, said he would press Massad about the CFTC’s efforts to restrict speculation in commodities derivatives such as those tied to the price of oil. 

There have been recent signs that Wall Street critics could be disappointed by the pick and on Tuesday financial reform advocates Better Markets and Public Citizen said they knew little about Massad’s views.”

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Read full Politico article here

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