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CFTC’s Berkovitz Steps Down as Top Swaps Regulations Lawyer

Dan M. Berkovitz, the top lawyer at the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, will step down at the end of the month after helping the agency write derivatives regulations required by the Dodd-Frank Act.

Berkovitz, the CFTC’s general counsel since June 2009, didn’t disclose his future plans in an e-mail statement today announcing that he will leave the agency. A former counsel for the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, Berkovitz counseled CFTC Chairman Gary Gensler during congressional talks that led to enactment of Dodd-Frank in 2010.

“The commission’s initiatives in these and other areas have made our financial and commodity markets more transparent, more accountable, and safer for the American public,” Berkovitz said in his statement.

Dodd-Frank was enacted as lawmakers sought to reduce risk and increase transparency in the $639 trillion swaps market after unregulated trades helped fuel the 2008 credit crisis. The law calls for most swaps to be guaranteed at clearinghouses and traded on exchanges or other platforms.

The regulations will govern trades on exchanges including those operated by CME Group Inc. and conducted by companies such as Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co.

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