CFTC Chairman Gary Gensler To Step Down

Gary Gensler, chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), is planning to step down and leave the agency by the end of this year. That’s according to Scott Patterson and Jamila Trindle of The Wall Street Journal.

CFTC Chairman Gary Gensler To Step Down

CFTC’s Gensler stepping down is no surprise

This move is one that has been anticipated by many people as it ends a tenure highlighted by the Dodd-Frank Act, which required a complete overhaul of the derivatives mark. Gensler’s term ended earlier this year, and he is able to remain chairman of the CFTC until December or possibly even later. That’s part of the terms of his appointment. Congress can also confirm a replacement for him, at which time he would also leave.

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In January, The Wall Street Journal reported that the Obama administration asked Gensler to serve another term as head of the CFTC, although he decided that he did not want to do it.

Final derivatives overhaul parts coming into place

The timing of Gensler’s departure is just as some of the final big pieces of the derivatives overhaul are coming into place. The CFTC is rolling out swaps execution facilities, also known as SEFs. Firms just started trading on those platforms this week. Gensler said the platforms would increase transparency and competition within the derivatives markets because traders will have easier access to prices.

Gensler is one of the few regulatory chiefs appointed at the beginning of President Obama’s time in office who still remain. His tenure started in the midst of a major economic crisis which began largely because of serious problems within the derivatives market. Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc Plan Trust (OTCMKTS:LEHMQ) folded and American International Group Inc (NYSE:AIG) sustained huge losses because of bad derivatives bets. The Dodd-Frank Act is aimed at limiting the risk of another possible collapse within the derivatives market.

Last month current CFTC Enforcement Chief David Meister also said he plans to leave the regulatory agency at the end of this month.