Streetwise Professor

June 29, 2013

The Ugly American

Filed under: Derivatives,Economics,Politics,Regulation — The Professor @ 6:39 pm

Outgoing CFTC Commissioner Jill Sommers always struck me as a careful, precise, controlled person.  Certainly not a bombthrower, or someone prone to outspoken outbursts.  Which is precisely why I did a double take when I read this:

“No one has ever accused Gary Gensler of being reasonable,” Sommers said in her statement. “I may not totally agree with it, but Commissioner Wetjen has put a reasonable proposal on the table that would achieve multiple goals. He understands the importance of working in good faith with other global regulators.”

Whoa. Well said, Commissioner.

Truth be told, Gensler has pretty much worn out his welcome in DC-not to mention the rest of the world.  He is on his way out in July, and there will be few that will lament his departure.  I was just in London, and my criticism of Gensler (you’re shocked, I’m sure), and in particular of his obsession with moving forward with proposed guidance on cross-border regulation, went over quite well.  Based on my observations in London, the EU, and Canada, Gensler is viewed as the Ugly American, intent on imposing his worldview benighted furriners.

But even in the US Gensler has worn out his welcome.  A group of 6 Democratic senators-including Chuckie Schumer, for crissakes-wrote a letter asking Gensler to back off.

Despite his lame duck status, Gensler is stubbornly holding out against this near unanimous criticism.

Or perhaps I should say, because of his lame duck status, Gensler is stubbornly holding out.  For his insistence on plunging ahead in the face of near universal opposition gives every appearance of being the product of pique at not being reappointed to another term as Chairman.

But he has an enthusiastic supporter in Elizabeth Warren.  So there’s that.

Need I say more?

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3 Comments »

  1. I was recently reading Roger Lowenstein’s “When Genius Failed”, about LTCM. I was astounded to read in that book that Gensler was 1/ one of those tasked with tidying up LTCM, and 2/ ex-Goldman.

    He must have worked in HR, or something.

    Comment by Green as Grass — July 1, 2013 @ 6:50 am

  2. […] The Ugly American Outgoing CFTC Commissioner Jill Sommers always struck me as a careful, precise, controlled person.  Certainly not a bombthrower, or someone prone to outspoken outbursts. http://streetwiseprofessor.com/?p=7384 […]

    Pingback by The week that was (aka Dazzling Derivatives; issue of 1st July 2013) | The OTC Space — July 1, 2013 @ 9:01 am

  3. What a pleasant way to call some one a bastard! @ green as grass- the “cleanup at LTCM was a complete grab bag of mis-sold collateral, mispriced assets and suddenly widening spreads. Surprised, anyone! It doesn’t take a genius to get on the phone and say” Duh, high, bid me 20 in June”.

    Comment by sotos — July 1, 2013 @ 11:57 am

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