Gary Gensler served as Chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) from May 26, 2009, to January 3, 2014, a time of major transition and new responsibilities for the agency. In the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, Gensler advocated for bringing financial reform to the vast, unregulated swaps market.
With the passage of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, President Obama and Congress charged the CFTC, historically the nation’s futures market regulator, with reforming the swaps market. Under Gensler’s leadership, the agency subsequently implemented these reforms and transformed the swaps marketplace.
Bright lights of transparency began shining on the more than $400 trillion market with the public now benefiting from both real-time reporting and exchange trading of swap transactions. Central clearing of swaps also became a reality. The world’s largest swap dealers registered with the CFTC and thus now follow common-sense rules for business conduct. Further, the agency comprehensively reformed the customer protection regimes for the futures and swaps markets.
Chairman Gensler also led the agency as it brought charges against five financial institutions for the manipulation of LIBOR and other benchmark interest rates, resulting in over $1.7 billion in penalties. As a result, the world’s conversation changed regarding LIBOR and the real need to restore integrity to benchmark rates.
Chairman Gensler previously served at the U.S. Department of the Treasury as Under Secretary of Domestic Finance (1999-2001) and as Assistant Secretary of Financial Markets (1997-1999). In recognition of this service, he was awarded Treasury’s highest honor, the Alexander Hamilton Award. He subsequently served as a Senior Advisor to Senate Banking Committee Chairman Paul Sarbanes on the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which reformed corporate responsibility, accounting and securities laws.
Prior to his public service, Chairman Gensler worked for 18 years at Goldman Sachs, where he became a partner; in his last role he was Co-head of Finance. He is the co-author of The Great Mutual Fund Trap, which presents common-sense investment advice for middle-income Americans.
He graduated summa cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, where he received both a Bachelor’s of Science in economics and a Master’s of Business Administration. He has three daughters and lives in Maryland.