Former CFTC chief Gary Gensler set to be named SEC chair

Wall-Street veteran Gary Gensler is expected to lead the US Security and Exchange Commission (SEC)

According to a Reuter’s story published yesterday, president-elect Joe Biden is expected to designate crypto-savvy Gary Gensler as the incoming SEC chairman. Reuters reported that the appointment would be concluded in the ‘in the coming days’. If appointed, he will be the 33rd chairperson of the SEC, replacing Elad Roisman, who was named acting chairman by President Trump on 23 December 2020 following Jay Clayton’s exit.

Gensler has worked at Goldman Sachs under different positions, with his last role being the co-head of finance. The ex-Goldman Sachs banker has worked with Biden in the past and has led Biden’s financial policy transition team since November.

He is also a former chair of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), having served under the Obama administration between 2009 and 2014.  Reuters cited sources familiar with the matter confirming that the leading financial expert will be a part of the incoming Biden government.

During his time at the CFTC, he saw to it that new swaps trading rules approved by Congress following the financial crisis were enforced. His approach to financial matters earned him the reputation of a shrewd and stern operator. He is also known for being dauntless because of his unsentimental style.

Industry experts believe that Gensler will impose rigorous conduct contrary to Clayton’s liberal approach. This, in turn, means Wall Street firms, crypto companies, and other institutions in the finance landscape may be hit hard. Following his addition to the Biden team in November, Mike Orcutt of The Block reported that he was ‘one of the country’s most serious thinkers on the future of payments’.

Orcutt wrote that although Gensler was no crypto enthusiast, he seemed to display an interest in the future of payment technologies. He has previously made remarks on various aspects of payments, including the rise of payment projects like Diem, previously known as Libra. Gensler will take over the regulatory body once confirmed and would be an influential figure in the outcome of the pending SEC lawsuit against Ripple.

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