Rostin Behnam Named Acting Chair of U.S. Derivatives Regulator

Rostin Behnam, a Democratic member of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, will serve as acting chair of the derivatives regulator until the Senate confirms President Joe Biden’s permanent nominee.

Behnam, who’s appointment was announced in a Thursday CFTC statement, will be hamstrung from making any major policy changes as Republicans outnumber Democrats at the agency 3-to-2. Heath Tarbert, who was President Donald Trump’s second CFTC chairman, announced earlier in the day that he would step down from leading the agency but would stay on as a commissioner. He’s previously said that stint would be temporary.

Behnam has been a CFTC commissioner since 2017. His profile rose last year after he oversaw a report by a CFTC industry advisory group in which Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan Chase & Co. BP Plc and other companies called on the U.S. government to make businesses pay for their greenhouse gas emissions to help combat global warming. He also opposed several of the rules that the agency passed under Tarbert.

Behnam along with fellow Democratic Commissioner Dan Berkovitz and Georgetown Law professor Chris Brummer have been mentioned as candidates to take over the agency on a permanent basis under Biden.

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