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Delayed for Months, Senators Will Finally Question CFTC Hopefuls

Joe Mont | February 27, 2014

The long-delayed first step to filling vacant seats on the Commodities Futures Trading Commission takes place next week, when the Senate Agriculture Committee gets its first chance to question three Obama Administration nominees. On March 6, Initiating the confirmation process, the committee will  hear from Timothy Massad, picked to replace former chairman Gary Gensler,  as well as Sharon Bowen, a Democrat, and J. Christopher Giancarlo, a Republican.

The confirmation process has taken months to begin, leaving the CFTC short-handed throughout 2014. In November, well before Gensler's January departure, Massad, a former partner with the law firm Cravath, Swaine & Moore, was first nominated. While Massad awaits confirmation, CFTC Commissioner Mark Wetjen has served as acting chairman.

Massad previously served as the Acting Assistant Secretary for Financial Stability and joined the Treasury Department in May 2009 as the Chief Counsel for the Office of Financial Stability. He later became the Chief Reporting Officer for OFS.

Prior to joining Treasury, Massad was a partner with the law firm of Cravath, Swaine & Moore in New York. He left the firm from December 2008 to February 2009 to assist the newly formed Congressional Oversight Panel, then headed by Elizabeth Warren, one of the oversight agencies for Troubled Asset Relief Program.

Bowen, nominated in December, would replace Bart Chilton, an outspoken Democrat who delayed his planned departure to vote on a re-proposed commodity position limits rule and the controversial Volcker rule. She is currently a partner in the New York office of Latham & Watkins and serves as acting chair of the board of directors for the Securities Investor Protection Corporation, which helps recover money to investors with assets in the hands of bankrupt and financially troubled brokerage firms.

Giancarlo is a manager at GFI Group and former chairman of the Wholesale Market Brokers' Association Americas. He would replace Republican Jill Sommers, who stepped down in early 2013.