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CFTC Chairman Timothy Massad Announces Resignation; Says Swaps Reforms “Made Sense”

Timothy G. Massad said he will step down as chairman of the CFTC, effective January 20, 2017. A statement issued by the CFTC noted Massad’s accomplishments at the agency, which he has led since June 2014, including adoption of margin requirements for uncleared swap transactions under the Dodd-Frank Act and the agency’s efforts to ensure clearinghouses are stronger and more resilient. The Wall Street Journal reported that J. Christopher Giancarlo, the CFTC’s sole Republican member who may also be in the running for the chairman post, is expected to succeed Massad on an interim basis. In a recent speech at the London School of Economics, Massad lauded regulatory reforms in the derivatives sector and said that “when it comes to the reforms of the swaps market, I believe there’s a wide consensus that the reforms made sense.” He said that it would be a “major mistake’ to repeal financial reforms but that certain measures, such as the Dodd-Frank Act, could be improved upon.