Senate Confirms Contenders for Key Posts on U.S. Swaps Regulator

(Bloomberg) -- The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission is set to be at full strength for the first time since 2014 after the Senate confirmed two new members for the panel that oversees a chunk of the $542 trillion global swaps market as well as trading in Bitcoin futures.

The addition of Republican Dawn Stump and Democrat Dan Berkovitz may kick-start policy making at the CTFC. Chairman J. Christopher Giancarlo, a Republican named to the post by President Donald Trump, has said he prefers a full commission for moving ahead on a long-delayed rule to restrict speculation on oil and other commodities.

Stump, a former lobbyist and congressional staffer, was nominated by Trump to fill a Republican seat in June 2017. Berkovitz, a partner at WilmerHale who was CFTC general counsel from 2009 to 2013, was selected in April. His clients at WilmerHale have included financial firms regulated by the CFTC.

Once sworn in, they will join Giancarlo, Republican Brian Quintenz and Democrat Rostin Behnam on the five-member panel.

The CFTC’s agenda also includes completing a swap dealer registration rule and a plan to revamp regulations of swap-execution facilities. The agency has drawn attention over the past year for its efforts to regulate derivatives tied to cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin.

The agency has struggled for years to win increased funding from Congress to meet regulatory responsibilities that have expanded in the wake of the financial crisis a decade ago. Financial woes forced the CFTC to reduce services for staff members earlier this year and Giancarlo told the staff in May that voluntary buyouts could be coming.

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