Ben Protess made an interesting comparison today in a DealBook article on the rise of CFTC Chief Gary Gensler and the agency's successful work on the LIBOR rate fixing scandal:
It is a new role for the agency, the industry’s smallest regulator. For years, it was viewed as the Rodney Dangerfield of the regulatory world, with a light touch and little respect.
It's apt for sure. Demos Fellow Wallace Turbeville made the case for Gensler as progressive "hero" just the other day. Here's why:
Chairman Gensler was the driving force behind a full investigation of the manipulation of LIBOR by Barclays and (undoubtedly) other banks that led to the single largest penalty in US regulatory history. While others sent out posterior-covering memos, Gensler actually did something to protect the integrity of the borrowing function in the worldwide economy. He fulfilled the duty of his office, overseeing a years-long comprehensive investigation of this complex deception while simultaneously driving the unprecedented regulatory regime needed to protect the planet from the threat of a derivatives market gone mad. This is hardly the work of the oft-derided bureaucrat who is unable to chew gum and walk at the same time.