Chilton Says He’ll Leave U.S. Swaps Overseer Next Week

Bart Chilton says he’ll leave the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission next week after almost seven years of pushing for limits on oil and natural gas speculation, as well as curbs on algorithmic and high-frequency trading.

Chilton, who said in November that he was planning to leave the derivatives regulator, said in an interview yesterday that he will leave the CFTC by March 22. He said he is writing a book titled “Theft” about the relationship of Wall Street and Washington.

“I have a book to write, and I want to get to it,” Chilton, 53, said in an interview about his plans. “I feel like it has been helpful to the agency to stay around a couple more months than anticipated.”

The CFTC is in a period of transition after putting into place more than 60 rules required under the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act to regulate trading by firms including Goldman Sachs Group Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co. and BP Plc. The law is designed to have most swaps guaranteed at clearinghouses that accept collateral from buyers and sellers and traded on exchanges or new facilities.

The commission is also slated for a makeover in its membership. Gary Gensler stepped down in January as chairman and Jill E. Sommers, a Republican, left the agency in July. Timothy Massad, the Treasury Department official nominated as CFTC chairman by President Barack Obama, is awaiting Senate confirmation.

Sharon Y. Bowen, nominated to succeed Chilton, and J. Christopher Giancarlo, an executive at New York-based interdealer broker GFI Group Inc., are also awaiting confirmation for seats on the commission.

Position Limits

Chilton was the most vocal CFTC supporter for limits on the size of a position a trader could have in commodities. A federal judge in 2012 blocked the agency’s final rule in a case filed by the International Swaps and Derivatives Association and Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association.

The agency’s position-limits proposal has been among the most contentious rules at the CFTC, with banks and energy-trading firms lobbying against the regulation while Delta Air Lines Inc. and other energy consumers have been in support.

Chilton also frequently called for curbs on high-frequency trading, dubbing the firms “cheetahs” for their speed in markets. The agency has published a first step toward possible rules for the firms.

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