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CFTC Economists

  • Office of the Chief Economist Staff Biographies

    Nicholas Fett, (Research Economist), began his tenure at the Commission in 2015 subsequent employment as an economist at the Bureau of Labor Statistics. His competence in database management and proven proficiency in economic analysis can be seen via his research papers and articles authored during his time with the Current Employment Statistics and Green Goods and Services surveys. His broad research interests include algorithmic trading, derivatives execution and analytics, liquidity and credit risk, and foreign exchange derivatives. He has a master’s degree in Applied Economics from Johns Hopkins University.

    Raymond P.H. Fishe, (Economist), has consulted with the Commission since 2009. He holds the Patricia A. and George W. Wellde, Jr. Distinguished Chair in Finance at the University of Richmond. Prior to consulting for the Commission, he was a visiting academic scholar at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. He provides economic advice on the Commission’s rulemaking, supports enforcement investigations, and conducts quantitative analysis on the structure of derivatives markets and the strategic behavior of market participants. He has written extensively in the area of futures, options and market microstructure with an emphasis on economics journals, such as The Journal of Finance, Journal of Financial Economics, Journal of Financial Markets, American Economic Review, Journal of Econometrics, and Financial Management. He received a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Florida in 1979.

    Richard Haynes, (Economist), joined the Commission in 2014. Prior to this, he worked as a Senior Policy Analyst at the Treasury Department, advising on matters related to derivatives market reform. Before his public service, he worked in the New York and Hong Kong offices of Credit Suisse as a commodities trader and quantitative analyst. He received his PhD in Mathematics at the University of Chicago in 2006. His current research interests center around market micro-structure, including high-frequency and automated trading, and trends in derivatives clearing and execution.

    Stephen Kane, (Research Economist), joined the Commission in 2010. He earned his Ph.D. in mathematics from Ohio State University. Stephen is a former finance professor at the University of Houston, Brooklyn Polytechnic University, and Suffolk University. He is a former Visiting Scholar at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Vice President at Chase Manhattan Bank, and Policy Analyst at Office of Management and Budget. Stephen has sixteen mathematical, statistical, and financial publications that are in journals such as the International Review of Financial Analysis and Financial Practice and Education among others. His current research interests include swaps regulation and CFTC policy, in general derivatives and CFTC policy, in general.

    Lihong L. McPhail, (Research Economist), joined the Commission in 2015, where she provides economic analysis on rulemakings and conducts research on derivative markets. She holds a PhD in economics and the Charted Financial Analyst (CFA) designation. Prior to joining the Commission, she was a senior financial economist with the FCA, where she developed and oversaw their comprehensive stress testing model suite and capital adequacy process. Prior to that, she conducted research on commodities and derivatives at the Economic Research Service. She has published numerous articles in journals such as the Energy Journal, Energy Economics, Journal of Risk Management in Financial Institutions, the Risk Management Association (RMA) journal, and Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics.

    Scott Mixon, (Supervisory Economist), joined the Commission in the fall of 2012. Dr. Mixon is a financial economist with over 15 years of industry experience (on the buy-side, sell-side, and in antitrust/litigation consulting) implementing and communicating quantitative and empirical analysis to clients. His scholarly research has focused on market volatility, historical financial crises, market microstructure, and derivatives markets; it has been published in leading academic publications including the Journal of Financial Economics, the Journal of Derivatives, and the Journal of Futures Markets. Prior to joining the Commission, Dr. Mixon was a member of the Investment Committee and an alternative investments strategist and fund of hedge funds portfolio manager for Lyxor Asset Management, a subsidiary of Société Générale. He was previously part of Bates White Economic Consulting’s Antitrust practice, where his cases involved allegations of commodity price manipulation, allegations of anticompetitive behavior, and antitrust analysis for the CME/CBOT merger. He began his career at UBS as a quantitative and derivatives strategist.

    Esen Onur, (Economist), has been with the Commission since fall 2011. He received his Ph.D. in economics from University of Virginia and his B.S. in physics from Koc University in Turkey. He has previously taught economics classes at University of Virginia as well as the College of William and Mary. His other teaching experiences have been with University of California, Davis and with University of Maryland. He is also a former economics professor at California State University. Sacramento. His research interests include foreign exchange market, information asymmetry in financial markets, market microstructure and prediction markets.

    Michael Penick, (Senior Economist), has worked for the CFTC since 1991 and for the Office of the Chief Economist since 2002. He has worked with the Division of Enforcement on numerous market manipulation investigations, including Amaranth and Enron.  Research interests include the economic history of futures trading and regulation. He created and maintains the CFTC History pages on the CFTC Web site and maintains the CFTC glossary.  Prior to 2002, he reviewed new futures contracts and rule amendments for the CFTC’s Product Review Group.   Previously, he was a member of the Chicago Board of Trade where he traded options on Treasury bond futures and stock index futures. His article, “The Development and Current State of Derivatives Markets,” was published in Financial Derivatives: Pricing and Risk Management in 2009.

    David Reiffen, (Senior Economist), joined the Commission in 2003. Prior to joining the Commission, he was an Economist at the U.S. Treasury Department and the U.S. Federal Trade Commission. Dr. Reiffen’s research, at the Commission, has focused on evaluating the implications of ownership structure on the behavior of financial organizations, such as exchanges. He has also provided economic analysis of Commission’s rulemaking and litigation efforts. He has written extensively in industrial organization, and his works has been published in leading economics journals such as The American Economic Review, The Rand Journal of Economics, The Review of Economics and Statistics and The Journal of Law and Economics. He received a Ph.D. in Economics from UCLA.

    Michel A. Robe, (Consulting Senior Economist), is an Associate Professor of Finance at American University's Kogod School of Business. He received his Ph.D. in Financial Economics from Carnegie Mellon University in 1995, and later taught international finance at the University of Miami and at McGill University. Professor Robe has been associated with the CFTC as a Senior Economist since 2006. His work on insider trading, financial regulation, security design, volatility, cross-border financial flows and risk sharing has appeared in the Journal of Financial Economics, Journal of Financial & Quantitative Analysis, International Economic Review, Journal of Futures Markets, and other academic journals. His ongoing research at the CFTC includes papers on the financialization of commodity futures markets and its impact on intra- and cross-market linkages, as well as papers on speculative vs. hedging pressures, trading strategies, and overall derivative-market microstructure.

    John S. Roberts, (Research Analyst) joined the Commission in 2009. Prior to joining the Commission, he worked at National Economic Research Associates (NERA) and the World Bank. He conducts quantitative analysis on the structure of derivatives markets. Current research is focused on market design, price discovery and algorithmic trading. He is currently in the process of completing a PhD program at the University of Maryland, College Park.

    Sayee Srinivasan, (Chief Economist), joined the Commission in 2012. Prior to joining the Commission, he has worked with the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, the Bombay Stock Exchange, the National Stock Exchange of India, and OptiMark Technologies focusing on market and product design, trading rules, and business development across a broad range of asset classes, and both cash and derivatives markets. His research interest includes regulatory policy development on issues related to pre-trade, trade, and post trade technology, systems, processes and risk management. He has an undergraduate degree in Accounting and Master’s degree in Finance from University of Bombay, and Master’s and Doctorate in Economics from the University of Texas at Austin.