CFTC Chair Gensler Speaks at Banking Regulation Symposium

October 16, 2013 — Five years ago, the U.S. economy was in freefall, and the swaps market was at the center of the crisis. Yet the president and Congress came together—“yes, they can work together”—to create historic reforms, noted Gary Gensler, chair of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

Gensler delivered the keynote address at “Opening Wall Street’s Black Box: Pathways to Improved Financial Transparency” at Georgetown Law on October 11. Working from notes due to the government shutdown (without prepared remarks or a Powerpoint), Gensler reviewed the state of derivatives reform today, in light of recent debates and decisions on the subject.

“With the CFTC’s near completion of these reforms, a true paradigm shift has resulted—a paradigm shift to a transparent, regulated marketplace which benefits investors, consumers and businesses in this country and around the globe,” Gensler said. “The CFTC, through 61 final rules, orders and guidances…has brought traffic lights, stop signs and speed limits to this once dark and unregulated market.”  

Marcus Stanley, the policy director for Americans for Financial Reform, called Gensler the “most qualified financial regulator” in the United States today. “He was a critical behind-the-scenes architect of the approach to derivatives reform in Dodd-Frank, which turned out much stronger than many people expected,” he said.  

Gensler’s address appeared midway through the symposium on banking regulation; panels included “Rethinking the Disclosure Paradigm,” featuring Professor Adam Levitin, and “Transparency and Accountability,” moderated by Professor Chris Brummer.

Georgetown has “always had a good deal of interest and activity in this particular realm,” Brummer said, referring to Professor Dan Tarullo, now a member of the board of governors of the U.S. Federal Reserve Board, as well as Levitin and Professors Donald C. Langevoort and Robert B. Thompson. “We’re hopeful that this will be the first of a series of discuss financial regulation, being just at the doorstep of the Capitol.” 

The event was hosted by Georgetown Law and Americans for Financial Reform. A webcast is available here.



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