An "Angry" Bart Chilton Shares His Parting Lesson From 30 Years In Washington

Tyler Durden's picture

While one may criticize now-ex CFTC commissioner Bart Chilton for years and years of sound and fury signifying nothing, countless promises of regulatory enforcement (all of which fell short of the target) and finally putting an end to precious metals manipulation only for the world to discover that while every other asset class is manipulated (involving such individuals as JPM's chief currency dealer), gold and silver are exempt, one must admit the former regulator does have a way wtih words (and of course haircuts). Sure enough, Chilton's most memorable parting gift will not be something he did, but rather what he said.

William Cohan memorializes his parting message: "As we long suspected, Wall Street continues to use every trick in its playbook to do whatever it can to eviscerate numerous post-financial-crisis rules. The arsenal includes high-powered lobbyists who outnumber lawmakers 10-to-1; $1,000-an-hour letter-writing lawyers who gain strength from negotiating over arcana; and the occasional hoodwinking of a president whose knowledge of the ways of finance are close to nil."

Chilton's take home message: “The lesson for me is: The financial sector is so powerful that they will roll things back over time,” Chilton says. “The Wall Street firms have tremendous influence, and they can impact policy to a greater degree than any one regulator or a small group of regulators can.

Well, one sure can't say that those 30 years he spent in Washington of which nearly 7 years at the CFTC were lost on the Alexander Godunov lookalike: at least he figured out who runs the show. Of course, finding a way how to prevent the financial sector from being in charge, i.e., doing his job, would have been preferable, but close enough for government work.

What are Chilton's other laments? Why being underfunded of course. Because if the CFTC only had more money, all would have been fixed.

In fiscal 2013, for example, the CFTC requested funding of $308 million and got only $195 million ($10 million less than the previous year) despite many new responsibilities. “There are crooks who are getting away with crimes because we don’t have the resources to go after them,” Chilton says. The SEC has a similar discrepancy between its appropriation and what it needs to fulfill legal mandates.


With its regulators overwhelmed and underfunded, Wall Street firms then move to the relentless negotiation stage. “As you try to deal with the regulatory agency,” he says of Wall Street, “the first thing you do is you say, ‘Well, would you exempt us?’ And when that doesn’t work, you try to ameliorate your regulation.” If that strategy fails, the industry defaults to litigation.

Sounds like the generic justification anyone would make for failing at their job. But it could be just us.

Some more deep thoughts from Bart Chilton:

Chilton said he has noticed one additional tactic that Wall Street has been employing lately: stalling or thwarting nominees to regulatory agencies. The nomination of Timothy Massad, the U.S. Treasury Department official who managed the Troubled Asset Relief Program, to replace Gary Gensler as CFTC chairman came late in the year and a confirmation vote has now been delayed, probably to February 2014. That means further Dodd-Frank rule-writing and enforcement could be delayed, too, because only two of five commissioners will be seated and they would both have to agree to get anything done. “It’s a gift to Wall Street,” he said. “This is what they’ve been trying to do. They’ve been trying to stop Dodd-Frank.”


Chilton knows why Wall Street always seems to win. Financial-industry executives contribute more money “in every election, than any other sector, and they have made more profits in every single quarter since the fall of 2008 when many of them helped crash the economy,” he explains. “So while the rest of the nation is suffering still, and trying to get a leg up to get out of the ditch, the financial sector didn’t miss a beat.”


In case you didn’t catch Chilton’s meaning, here is the shorter version: Unless and until Wall Street’s disproportionate ability to bully Washington is curtailed, the rest of us will be held hostage to its agenda. For those interested in the fuller version, Chilton has been writing a book. Its working title: “Theft.”

Oh, we caught Chilton's meaning all right. What we are more interested in is how long after Theft is a monetary failure will the silver-haired regulator apply for a job at Goldman, JPMorgan or Citi. Because one thing we have learned observing Washington apparatchiks, is that in addition to sharing deep thoughts on occasions (if unmatched by actions), hypocrisy also happens to be a recurring theme.

For those who yearn for one last dose of Chilton's deep thoughts, here is his most recent speech, "The Boss", appropriately enough before the Society of American Business Editors and Writers, New York City. After all, the man has to get in with the publishing lobby next.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
resurger's picture

Captain Bart! We meet once again.

BaBaBouy's picture


Sorry Guys, I Couldn't Do FuckShit Against These Power Entities.
I Had To Choose LIFE, Over A FAT Dose Of Polonium 210...

jaap's picture

So bart, you couldn't resist their pressure in the silver manipulation case?

SafelyGraze's picture

merry optical-backstop shizzlemas everyone!

bart shilltinz and the controlled opposition gatekeepers

knukles's picture

We needed Bart to tell us this?
Next a book on how he single and evenhandedly crusaded (no pun intended on Christmas) to reign in the banks and restore balance to the financial/political complex.

St. Bart

May God bring you a wet burlap sack of piccalilli for Christmas, asshole

kliguy38's picture

yup.....just another slimeball chickenshit phony lying Piece of dog chit chosen because of his "malleable" ethics

LetThemEatRand's picture

" is his most recent speech, 'The Boss'"....

For those without time to read it, here's a preview:

Chapter I.  Like a Boss.

"Sucking banker cock.  Like a Boss!

Fill my mouth up.  Like a Boss!

Spit it on my desk.   Like a Boss!

Say it's not my fault.  Like a Boss!

Blame the lobbyists.  Like a Boss!"




strannick's picture

Bart Shill-ton;

A do-nothing then, nobody listening now

macholatte's picture



Bart Chilton: Volcker Rule is designed to avoid another economic collapse

chokeNpuke's picture

Bart was paid to look the other way, I did NOT hear Bart cry about the pay he was getting to keep him happy.

Canadian Dirtlump's picture

heavy metal dick chilton was only ever a pretty face quoting rock and roll scripture offering false hope to the naive while choosing to cash checks rather than commit suicide by beating himself to death.





J S Bach's picture

When the time comes for the gallows, this guy should be first in line.  Cowardly, traitorous bastard.

His agency is a joke and in bed with the criminals.

ZH Snob's picture

you really have to pity the guy.  the reason for the CFTC impotency is that they would have to go after the US government.  obviously, these manipulations are sourced in American policy, and they are slightly more powerful than the CFTC I would think. 

Canadian Dirtlump's picture

yep, with metals the fed tells the government how it has to be and anyone who balks gets a 1 way trip to the happy hunting grounds.

kliguy38's picture

Bullshit!.......he could have called bullshit and resigned publicly.......of course he couldn't change it from within......but you don't pay lip service to the sheep and then politely retire to take his private payoff....

Canadian Dirtlump's picture

You could have responded more charitably to me given the season. After all I'm not his hype man. Lol.


I jest. Either way, telling the truth in his situation is fatal.

Seer's picture

Under Bush many regulatory agencies got the hatchet.

I won't go into whether this is good or bad, though I'l point out an apparent bit of cognative dissonance going on here.

If you have a "smaller govt" then that means less regulators.

If you want better regulation then that means more regulators.

Folks will tend to point out the argument is over the regulators doing their job in the first place.  No doubt that there's an element here to consider.  I don't, however, believe that it's as simple as that.  I believe that the shit that's going on is so far complicated/complex and strung out around the globe that there's likely little hope for there to be any way to keep on top of it all.  And despite the claims of all the fat govt workers, they are nowhere near as "fat" as those whom they would be expected to chase.

So, "in bed" or just "overwhelmed," the results are the same... (and the two-party "solution" only has us bouncing between these two positions)

And there's no way the System is going to change because that's where POWER is concentrated.  Only way to be rid of it is to distance from it...

Canadian Dirtlump's picture

You can have for example glass-steagall in place, or not have the commodity futures modernization act in place without an army of clipboard toting mongoloids on the payroll.

Your point stands though.

If the former was reinstated, the latter repealed, a micro tax implemented on all hft bids, and metals made a tier one asset then you could move mountains without spending a dime.

Papasmurf's picture


If you have a "smaller govt" then that means less regulators.

If you want better regulation then that means more regulators.

You need enforcement, to regulate by example.  More regulations don't make that happen, nor does more regulators.

Canadian Dirtlump's picture

regulation now is lawlessly, selectively enforced now across the board and serves to choke out smaller, or non insider institutions.


structural reform would solve alot of these problems without needing regulation.

MeelionDollerBogus's picture

Regulation seems always to come from the criminals, so no, I don't recommend more of that.

FieldingMellish's picture

Exploding with frustration.

Canadian Dirtlump's picture

Your beard turned red as a result. 

sampo's picture

Yeah, fuckhead, you had the chance to do something about it! You missed your chance!

Fuck you, Bart! Shame on you!

resurger's picture

he was paid not to do anything about it, if he was doing his job sampo, he wouldnt be in the CFTC, he would be six feet deep.

Imminent Crucible's picture

I think Chilton said all he dared to say.  It was a failure of courage as much as principle.  He stated repeatedly that there was ample grounds to believe the silver markets were manipulated by the Usual Suspects.  He even said he was convinced that it was ongoing.

When he finally said, "I can't really find the smoking gun, sorry" what I think he meant was "I don't have enough bodyguards to state the case bluntly. The rot goes to the very top of the power structure.  I'm not willing to get framed with a 19 year old hooker, or get charged with child porn on my computer, or just end up like Ron Brown over this."

And truthfully, I'd be afraid myself.  Full disclosure on the metals manipulations game would threaten some of the most powerful and most corrupt people in the world.

And then there's this:  Should we more angry with Chilton, or with a population that doesn't care how crooked everything is as long as they get their Free Stuff?

11b40's picture

Not disagreeing at all. It's just too bad he didn't pull a 'Snowden'.

MeelionDollerBogus's picture

to expose them from the inside will take an inside man who builds a false life just to enter, blows the whistle, then disappears.

Or, the rest of us to blow the whistle every day on their crimes and retract from the system, showing others the crimes and how to disconnect from it, until it is impotent from having no one but the free shit army to turn to. They are a problem but they don't have anything to be fleeced so that becomes their problem, vampire squid tentacles & FSA alike.

Seer's picture

One often discovers that things aren't as simple as they appear.

If you start from the "outside" you generally aren't aware of how things are really working on the "inside."  Open the door and find that it's a snakepit and the only way to survive is to commit suicide... (you're WAY understaffed and WAY out-gunned; and this is shored up via the  "smaller govt" mantra [sorry folks, either accept being pregnant or not- you cannot be just a little pregnant!]

NoDebt's picture

He should have coffee with Eric Holder.  I bet they could be best friends.

Colonel Klink's picture

Won't happen, he's not black.

NoDebt's picture

Yeah, but look how much they have in common.  One won't, the other cant.  Same end result.

quasimodo's picture

Bingo! He is not black, but at the rate he tans he will be there soon enough. All he needs is some Soul Glo hair gel and a fro.

Elliptico's picture

Kill the bankers!

cpnscarlet's picture

Had the luck to talk to Bart on the phone a year or so back. Once thought he was on our side, then wondered which side. Now I think he was just playing good cop all along.

If nothing else, one word is approriate for his tombstone no metter what the truth is - "impotent".

Seer's picture

Not in his defense, but what exactly could he have said?  No one wants to come out and say that something is not possible lest that completely remove any means left that "might" be buildable from; not to mention that it kind of kills one's revenue stream.

Perhaps they're all impotant.  Perhaps it's that Wall Street and the banksers are WAY more POTENT.

If you take out the banks then it's certain meltdown, the entire System croaks (it's how Wall Street operates, and Wall Street controls all the capital).  "Satan" seems to be eternal, I'm thinking that the banksters ARE satan.  Damned if we do, damned if we don't... (I only know that the way out is to never allow any sort of central power to exist, and this means govts, and with them there goes any nice laws that we might think are beneficial.)

Colonel Klink's picture

Fuck off Bart.  Only way you can redeem yourself is to become the "Edward Snowden" of the silver manipulation scheme and blow the whistle instead of the bankers.

NoDebt's picture

I had to chuckle at the thought of Bart blowing his "rape whistle."

Colonel Klink's picture

Kinda funny but I have news.  It wasn't rape, and that's not a whistle he was blowing.

fockewulf190's picture

Not one word about his ex-boss being a former Golden Sack acolyte?  No, of course not.  That would imply that the banksters might have had an inside man to gum up the works. 

IndyPat's picture

It wasn't more funding that hamstrung was too much bandwidth for midget...errrr...'little people' transsexual porn.
If you are leaving...and giving your the thing right for shitsake.

Judge Crater's picture

Captain Obvious, please just leave.  Don't slam the door on your way out.

earleflorida's picture

Fuck Chilton... they always deny their nefarious shadows' legnth, when one such as he departs out of the limelight,... burning alive his memorized ashe, now raining down upon his successor... as in a past-tense replicator incarnation!  

reader2010's picture

"The more powerful the class, the more it claims not to exist."

-Guy Debord, The Society of the Spectacle, 1967

W74's picture

Oi Vey.  I deny your assertion.  Nothing of the sort exists.

MeelionDollerBogus's picture
Bubkis - without a doubt. See the wringing of the hands? That's the bubkis detector. Umm hmmm.
Blame Crash's picture

And you genius's could do better?

nope-1004's picture

Anyone with a backbone would do better.  Aptitude is not a requisite for integrity.  He said one thing and did another.  If he wants redemption, he needs to come out and disclose how he was hushed and all he knows.

Do it blame.


Blame Crash's picture

He is not even an iota of a pip squeak compared to the Political & Wall Street power structure. Grossly over estimating his offices power compared to these crooks is delusional.

Go back and read what he wrote and tell me whose side he's on.

starfcker's picture

A pipsqueak named snowden did better. and he wasn't the chairman of anything.