U.S. Senate Confirms Three Commissioners to Derivatives Agency

The Senate voted today to confirm a new chairman and two commissioners to serve on the main U.S. derivatives regulator.

In a series of voice votes, the Senate confirmed Treasury Department official Timothy Massad to serve as chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and J. Christopher Giancarlo, an executive at New York-based inter-dealer broker GFI Group Inc., as a commissioner.

Earlier, the Senate voted 48-46 to confirm Sharon Y. Bowen, a New York-based lawyer at Latham & Watkins LLP, as a commissioner.

Massad, Bowen and Giancarlo would join commissioners Mark P. Wetjen and Scott O’Malia on the five-member panel, whose work has been slowed by the three vacancies.

The 2010 Dodd-Frank Act gave the agency authority for the first time to regulate swaps, complex derivatives that in the 1980s began trading privately on Wall Street between banks, hedge funds and other clients. Swaps, whose face value can reach trillions of dollars, were blamed for helping destabilize the financial system in 2008.

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