Obama to nominate Treasury official Timothy Massad to run CFTC

President Obama on Tuesday will nominate Timothy Massad, who has guided the Treasury Department’s bank-rescue program, as chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, a White House official said.

At the announcement in the White House, Mr. Obama is expected to call on Congress “to stop underfunding agencies like the CFTC that are responsible for putting new rules in place” to prevent some of the abuses that contributed to the financial crisis of 2008, the official said.

As an assistant Treasury secretary, Mr. Massad has overseen the government’s Troubled Asset Relief Program for the past three years. He’s been responsible for revamping of the market for financial transactions known as derivatives.

Mr. Massad would fill the post being vacated by Gary Gensler, who intends to leave his position when his term ends on Jan. 3. The Senate would need to confirm the nomination.

“Tim Massad is the right person to lead the CFTC at this important time for our economy and financial markets,” the White House official said.

Prior to running TARP, Mr. Massad was a legal adviser to the Congressional Oversight Panel run by Elizabeth Warren, now a Democratic senator from Massachusetts.

The CFTC is supposed to have five commissioners, but currently has four, and will be at three when Bart Chilton, a Democrat, resigns soon. Mr. Obama’s nominee to fill an open Republican spot on the commission, J. Christopher Giancarlo, hasn’t been confirmed by the Senate.

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