Mark Wetjen to be temporary CFTC Chairman after departure of Gary Gensler, due to delay in approving Timothy Massad
It is hard to take the CFTC seriously as a regulator. While the CFTC’s job is ostensibly to act as babysitter for the commodities and futures markets in the US, including forex, it is hard to see how it can be looked to make order in those markets while it cannot make order in its own house.
According to Bloomberg Mark Wetjen will be voted to become acting CFTC Chairman within days, citing unnamed sources with knowledge on the matter. Meanwhile President Obama has nominated Timothy Massad for the position, however a vote for his confirmation is not on the table as a Senate confirmation hearing date yet to be scheduled. Any decision that has to pass through Senate these days is a lengthy and painful process.
While by design the CFTC is run by five members, those could be reduced to two in 2014. Republican nominee Christopher Giancarlo has not had his confirmation hearing before he can replace Jill Sommers who had stepped down as CFTC Commissioner back in July. At the same time the Democratic member of the commission Bart Chilton has communicated that he is willing to step down soon, although he did not specify and might stick around until a replacement is found.
It is a very tough time for the regulator as the Dodd-Frank bill is enacted in full swing and the Volcker rule has been finalized at last last week. So if the US Government really wants to make changes in the financial sector aside from voting on these regulations it has to put some people in charge of following compliance with them. They better get their act together quickly, as we might end up with a dysfunctional CFTC in addition to the already defunct Congress.
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