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Senate Confirms Massad CFTC Chairman, Plus Two New Commissioners

The U.S. Senate Tuesday confirmed the administration's appointment of Timothy Massad as chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), and filled vacancies on the panel with two new nominees.

Massad, a Treasury Department official heavily involved in the federal bank bailout program, succeeds Gary Gensler, who had been CFTC chairman from May 2009 through 2013. Gensler spearheaded the agency’s drive to put rules in place under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act, passed by the Congress following the economic collapse of 2008. Gensler’s term ended at the end of last year. Commissioner Mark P. Wetjen has been serving as interim chairman.

The Senate also confirmed securities attorney Sharon Y. Bowen to fill a vacant Democratic seat, rounding out the panel with Republican brokerage firm executive J. Christopher Giancarlo.

Giancarlo, from GFI Group Inc., was nominated last summer to replace Republican Commissioner Jill Sommers. Bowen, a partner with the Washington, DC, law firm of Latham & Watkins LLP, was tapped by President Obama in December to succeed Commissioner Bart Chilton (see Daily GPIDec. 23, 2013).

Massad joined the administration following the 2008 economic crash, leaving his partnership in the New York law firm of Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP to assist the newly formed Congressional Oversight Panel (COP), one of the oversight agencies for the big bank bailout, the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). He served as a special legal advisor to the COP for its first report on the TARP investments, before moving on to successive posts in the Treasury Department (see Daily GPINov. 12, 2013).

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