It's official - goodbye Gary Gensler, we hardly knew you... as a commodities regulator that is, although Bart Chilton (who is finally also stepping down due to being too burdened by lack of funding to actually do anything) was kind enough to provide much needed perspective on how the CFTC truly works. In place of the former Goldmanite, today Obama will announce that going forward America's top derivative regulator and CFTC head will be Timothy Massad, the Treasury Department official responsible for overseeing the U.S. rescue of banks and automakers after the credit crisis.
Who is Timothy Massad? Bloomberg has the details:
A former partner at Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP in New York, Massad was a legal adviser to a congressional panel that oversaw the Troubled Asset Relief Program, which loaned billions of dollars in banks and auto companies to help stabilize the economy during the 2008 crisis. The program, which he then was confirmed to manage at Treasury, spurred a political backlash that drove congressional supporters from office in the 2010 election and fed criticism of Wall Street.
“Nobody ever wants to see TARP repeated. But the fact is, TARP is a program that did its job,” Massad said Sept. 30 at the Brookings Institution. “It has worked faster, better, and cheaper than most people ever thought possible.”
Massad would take over an agency that has put into place more than 60 rules mandated by Dodd-Frank to help reduce risk and increase transparency in the swaps market after largely unregulated trades helped fuel the crisis. The rules have yet to all take effect as the agency battles budget challenges as a result of failed efforts to increase funding from Congress.
The commission, which is designed to have five members, may instead have only one Democrat and one Republican early next year if Obama and the Senate cannot overcome political hurdles to confirm new commissioners.
So the man who was responsible for bailing out the banks at any cost, will now make sure these same banks don't do anything bad again. And he will also, somehow, "supervise" America's $234 trillion in derivatives and make sure nothing bad ever happens there too?
Somehow, we are a little skeptical. Sure enough: "The party-line split on the commission would probably delay votes on contentious Dodd-Frank regulations." In other words more of the same "nothing must change" hard line stance the CFTC has so sternly pursued since the crisis, and before.