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CFTC’s Gensler Interested in Second-Term as Derivatives Overseer

Gary Gensler, chairman of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, said he’d be willing to serve a second term as head of the agency bringing the first federal regulation to the $648 trillion swaps market.

“Oh, absolutely,” Gensler said in an interview on Bloomberg Television’s “Capitol Gains” program when asked about the possibility of reappointment if President Barack Obama is re-elected. “It’s a terrific, terrific agency. We’ve got a lot of work in front of us.” The program airs Oct. 14.

The Washington-based agency is preparing to bring oversight to swap dealers including JPMorgan Chase & Co., Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Morgan Stanley that begins to take effect today. The rules, more that two years in the making at the CFTC, are designed to reduce risk and increase transparency in a market that helped fuel the 2008 credit crisis.

Companies must begin tallying their derivatives trades to determine if they will be deemed swaps dealers, making them subject to the highest capital, collateral and conduct standards under the law. The agency is preparing a series of guidelines and exemptions to ease the transition.

“It’s four years since the crisis, but at times to lower the burden, to lower the cost, phased compliance is the best way and we’ve been committed to that,” Gensler said.

While his first term ended in April, Federal rules permit Gensler, a Democrat, to remain as chairman of the commission until the end of 2013. If Obama loses in November, his successor could nominate a replacement as chairman earlier.

Gensler has been criticized on Wall Street for the scope of the CFTC’s regulations and the potential they have to increase costs on banks and other users of derivatives.

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