Skip to content
Subscriber Only

A Last-Minute Push to Rein in Wall Street

The CFTC head issues a flurry of directives as his term ends
A Last-Minute Push to Rein in Wall Street
Photograph by Christine Muschi/Reuters

Gary Gensler is sending a message to Wall Street: I am not leaving Washington quietly. In his final weeks as chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Gensler has had the agency issue more than a dozen advisory opinions that close loopholes or tighten rules that govern the largest financial firms and swaps traders. The opinions, which were not voted on by other commissioners, covered such issues as regulation of overseas derivatives trades and competition in the swaps market.

President Obama has nominated Timothy Massad, a Treasury Department official, to succeed Gensler, whose term has expired and who must leave by the end of the year. Gensler is “trying to do an awful lot in a very short amount of time,” says Fred Hatfield, a former Democratic CFTC commissioner who now works at Patomak Global Partners, a regulatory consulting firm in Washington. “He’s leaving as little to chance as could be possible.”