CFTC’s Massad submits resignation |

CFTC’s Massad submits resignation

Commodity Futures Trading Commission Chairman Timothy Massad announced Jan. 4 he has submitted his resignation to President Barack Obama, effective Jan. 20, the day President-elect Donald Trump is inaugurated.

Massad said he would stay on as a commissioner for a few weeks to handle administrative matters, but his departure will leave the commission, which is supposed to have five members, with only two members: Democrat Sharon Bowen and Republican Chris Giancarlo, who is expected to become acting chairman when Trump becomes president.

Obama nominated two more commissioners, Democrat Christopher Brummer and Republican Brian Quintenz. The Senate Agriculture Committee approved them, but the full Senate did not act on the nominations.

In a statement, Massad said, “I came to the CFTC with a number of priorities, and I am proud we have made significant progress in every area. We have largely finished implementing the regulatory framework for swaps, and have concentrated on the areas posing the greatest risk to the financial system. We have taken many actions to make sure commercial businesses can continue using the derivatives markets efficiently and effectively to hedge routine commercial risk and engage in price discovery.

“We have improved international coordination by harmonizing rules in many areas, strengthening relationships, and working with other regulators on oversight of markets, all of which has reduced inconsistency and the risk of regulatory arbitrage,” he continued. “We have engaged in robust enforcement efforts to hold bad actors accountable and protect users of these markets. And we have taken action to address the new challenges and opportunities in the derivatives markets, particularly cyber threats, clearinghouse resilience, and the increased use of automated trading.”

Massad also released a list of the CFTC’s accomplishments during his tenure. But Massad will leave office with some Democrats — including Senate Agriculture Committee ranking member Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich. — unhappy that the CFTC did not finish a position limits rule.

—The Hagstrom Report

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