Joe Biden to Pick Ex-CFTC Chief Gensler as SEC’s New Head

Wall Street is bracing for the incoming administration to name the industry’s top cops after Biden takes over on January

Gary Gensler, the former Chief of US Commodity Futures Trading Commission, is on top of Joe Biden’s list of candidates for the job of chairing the Securities and Exchange Commission.

According to reports in Reuters and Bloomberg, the President-elect is expected to name Gensler as the SEC chair in the coming days, but sources said the choice was not final and could still change. The final announcement will be imminent once Biden names his choice for attorney general.

Gensler is already leading the Biden transition’s agency review team, which also covers the leadership roles at the SEC. The agency is led by political appointees who vote on rules and other key issues, tied at two Republican and two Democratic commissioners.

Wall Street is already bracing for the incoming administration to name the industry’s top cops after Biden takes over on January 20. But so far, most candidates have a background of tough enforcement records and are expected to take a much tougher stance after four years of Trump-era deregulation.

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Names being floated to replace the former SEC’s Head, Jay Clayton, also include Preet Bharara, Manhattan’s former top federal prosecutor under Obama’s administration whom Trump fired in 2017.

Gary Gensler, 63, is a former Goldman Sachs banker and a professor at MIT Sloan School of Management who was put in charge of the CFTC in 2009. During his tenure, the CFTC filed hundreds of successful enforcement actions against Wall Street banks and obtained judgements and orders totaling more than $10 billion in monetary sanctions.

Most notably, he was credited for overhauling the regulation of derivatives that caused the financial crisis in 2008. Furthermore, Gensler led the Dodd-Frank’s regulatory overhaul, which created new enforcement authorities for the CFTC and tightened supervision of the financial system.

Among the most prominent were cases regarding the manipulation of foreign exchange benchmarks, and uncovering the massive Libor rate-rigging scandal.

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