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O’Malia, Last of the Dodd-Frank Reformers, Leaving the CFTC

Republican Commissioner Scott D. O’Malia plans to leave the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Aug. 8, after having labored four and a half years through market reforms mandated by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.

O’Malia joins a post-Dodd Frank implementation exodus that includes former Chairman Gary Gensler, who left at the end of 2013, and former Commissioners Jill Sommers, a Republican, and Democrat Bart Chilton, who also departed in the last year. All had worked through most of the reforms initiated by Congress following the financial collapse of 2008.

“Although I did not support all 63 rules that the Commission has implemented under Dodd-Frank, I am pleased to have contributed to the policy deliberations to improve Commission rulemakings and encouraged the Commission to be mindful of negative policy outcomes,” O’Malia said in his letter of resignation to President Obama. He said it was time for him “to pursue other opportunities.”

New Chairman Timothy Massad, a Treasury Department official heavily involved in the federal bank bailout program, was installed in June, along with Commissioner J. Christopher Giancarlo, executive vice president of brokerage firm GFI Group Inc., who replaced Sommers. The Senate also confirmed securities attorney Sharon Y. Bowen, a partner with the Washington, DC, law firm of Latham & Watkins LLP, to fill Chilton’s seat (see Daily GPI, June 4),            

With the departure of O’Malia, Mark P. Wetjen, President Obama's nominee to succeed the departing Commissioner Michael Dunn in 2011, is the longest-serving commissioner on the panel. Democrat Wetjen had served as interim chairman between Gensler’s departure and Massad’s confirmation. O’Malia’s resignation will leave Giancarlo as the only Republican on the Commission.

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