CFTC Commissioner Wetjen Resigns

CFTC Commissioner Mark Wetjen announced his resignation in a letter to President Barack Obama. Mr. Wetjen was unanimously confirmed by the Senate in October 2011 and served as Acting Chairman of the Commission from January 2014 to June 2014. Mr. Wetjen stated that “more than ninety CFTC actions related to [title VII of the] Dodd-Frank [Act], in addition to many other commission actions, have been adopted since I joined the agency, and I supported and helped shape every one of them.” Mr. Wetjen also emphasized his efforts, among other things, to: (i) strengthen the risk-management practices of clearinghouses; (ii) enhance protections of customer funds held by entities registered with the CFTC; (iii) reach international harmonization of the G20 reforms; (iv) improve the efficiency of the global derivatives markets; and (v) support the CFTC enforcement program, which collected “record fines during [his] tenure through the CFTC’s responses to global schemes to manipulate LIBOR and foreign-currency markets, among many others.”

CFTC Chair Timothy Massad affirmed that “When Mark arrived, the commission was just beginning the task of implementing the Congressional mandate to regulate the swaps market. Today, thanks to Mark’s help, the Commission has a framework in place to make the swaps market more open, transparent and competitive.”

Mr. Wetjen’s final day as Commissioner will be August 28, 2015.

Lofchie Comment:  Commissioner Wetjen was a thoughtful and conscientious regulator. For most of his time as a Commissioner, he presented a constructive position between a Chairman with an “all in” approach to regulation (with one sure supporter) and two minority party Commissioners who were often in open opposition to the Chairman. On this middle road, Commissioner Wetjen could not draw political support from either side, yet he was willing to soldier on for a reasonable outcome. While many of the rules that emerged from the CFTC during his tenure received and deserved criticism, these rules could have been much worse but for his service. His departure from the CFTC is a loss. The Commission would be well served with a replacement of comparable dedication and character.

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