White House Announces Nominee for CFTC Chairman

CFTC Seal

According to the Financial Times, the White House plans to nominate Timothy Massad for chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).  Massad, a US treasury official, will be taking the place of current CFTC chairman Gary Gensler, who will be stepping down towards the end of the year.

How Massad plans to run the CFTC is still very much unknown, but the replacement of Gensler will most likely come as a relief to many banks and trading firms. CFTC chairman Gensler has acquired a reputation for being an extremely tough regulator.

Gensler was made CFTC chairman after the Commission was given a huge boost in responsibility in order to help prevent another financial crisis similar to 2008. President Obama will personally thank Gensler for bringing authority to the CFTC, and for his diligent work in implementing many of the regulations required by the Dodd-Frank Act.

Massad became a US treasury official in 2009 and was confirmed by the Senate to become assistant secretary at the Office of Financial Stability, which should make becoming CFTC chairman a fairly smooth transition. Massad may be best known for running the troubled asset relief programme, or “Tarp.” Since its induction, the$700 billion dollar program has seen banks repay nearly every dollar lent to them during the financial crisis, and has even made close to $30 billion in profit for US taxpayers.

Should Massad be appointed CFTC chairman, he will certainly have his work cut out for him, as the Commission is currently notoriously underfunded. Obama will be speaking with congress today about underfunded agencies in an attempt to raise the CFTC’s budget.