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April 9, 2014

Senate Panel Approves Nominees to Futures Trading Commission

“The Senate Agriculture Committee on Tuesday approved the nomination of Timothy G. Massad, a former corporate lawyer, as chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, one of Wall Street’s toughest watchdogs.”

“The Senate committee also approved the nominations of Sharon Y. Bowen and J. Christopher Giancarlo as commissioners. The three now await full confirmation by the Senate.”

“But in twist, Ms. Bowen’s confirmation was thrown into question after two senators, Saxby Chambliss, Republican of Georgia, and David Vitter, Republican of Louisiana, raised objections to her nomination.”

“Ms. Bowen, a former securities lawyers at Latham & Watkins, has come under scrutiny from both the left and the right. On the left, consumer advocates have questioned whether her experience representing some of Wall Street’s biggest financial institutions could influence her decisions as commissioner. On the right, she has been accused of not having enough experience.”

“On Tuesday, Mr. Chambliss voted against her nomination, saying she was unqualified. After the meeting, Mr. Vitter, who is not a member of the committee, announced that he would place a hold on Ms. Bowen’s nomination, citing concerns about her role as acting chairwoman at the Securities Investor Protection Corporation, an industry fund that works to return money held by failed brokerage firms like MF Global.”

“Mr. Vitter expressed disappointment over the fund’s decision not to return money to victims of R. Allen Stanford’s $7 billion Ponzi scheme. Mr. Vitter has urged SIPC to reconsider the matter and sent two letters to Ms. Bowen this year, according to a statement he released on Tuesday.”


Read full New York Times article here.

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