Massad to step down as head of CFTC

Massad to step down as head of CFTC
© Greg Nash

The head of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced Tuesday that he will be stepping down from his post on the day President-elect Donald TrumpDonald John Trump Former US ambassador: 'Denmark is not a big fan of Donald Trump and his politics' Senate Democrats push for arms control language in defense policy bill Detroit county sheriff endorses Booker for president MORE takes office.

Timothy Massad, who has served as chairman of the derivatives regulator since June 2014, announced he had given his resignation notice to President Obama and will be leaving the agency on Jan. 20 — Inauguration Day.

Massad theoretically could have stayed on at the regulator until April 2017.

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“The United States has the greatest financial markets in the world, and sensible regulation is vital to ensuring that they remain strong, dynamic, and innovative,” he said in a statement. “I am grateful to have had the opportunity to contribute to that important objective.”

Massad is leaving an agency that was handed hugely expanded powers to oversee complex parts of the financial marketplace as part of the Dodd-Frank financial reform law. He is the second man to lead the agency under Obama, preceded by Gary Gensler, who drove the agency through the initial glut of Dodd-Frank-related rulemakings.

In his statement, Massad said he was pleased with the progress the agency made under his watch, citing the largely finished implementation of Dodd-Frank requirements and heightened cooperation with international counterparts.

Before taking over the CFTC, Massad was a top official at the Treasury Department, charged with overseeing the Troubled Asset Relief Program, the much-reviled bailout package that went on to cost a fraction of what it was originally estimated.

Massad’s exit also marks the latest in the expected shakeup of top officials at financial regulators as Trump prepares to take power. In November, Securities and Exchange Commission Chairwoman Mary Jo White announced her intention to step down from that regulator at the end of the Obama administration.

However, not all regulators are following suit. Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen, who steers the nation's monetary policy in addition to having robust regulatory powers, has already said she has no intention of ending her term early, and plans to at least serve out her full time as chairwoman, until January 2018.