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CFTC chairman Massad resignsCFTC chairman Massad resigns

Massad listened to agricultural producers and processors; Giancarlo will work toward “smooth transition” to chairman.

Jacqui Fatka

January 4, 2017

2 Min Read
CFTC chairman Massad resigns
Pictured in the chair is outgoing CFTC Chairman Timothy Massad. Behind him (from left to right) are Commissioners Sharon Bowen, Scott O'Malia (who previously left the agency) and Chris Giancarlo who will take over the chairman position upon Massad's departure.CFTC

Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) chairman Timothy Massad announced that he will step down on Jan. 20. His term as commissioner was due to expire in April. The move paves the way for Republican commissioner Chris Giancarlo to take the lead at CFTC and gives President-elect Donald Trump one more commissioner slot to fill when he comes into office.

“I came to the CFTC with a number of priorities, and I am proud we have made significant progress in every area. We have largely finished implementing the regulatory framework for swaps and have concentrated on the areas posing the greatest risk to the financial system. We have taken many actions to make sure commercial businesses can continue using the derivatives markets efficiently and effectively to hedge routine commercial risk and engage in price discovery,” Massad said in a statement regarding his resignation.

House Agriculture Committee chairman Michael Conaway (R., Texas) thanked Massad for his work at the helm of CFTC, noting, “During his confirmation process, he committed to listening to the needs of farmers and other traditional hedgers, and I am happy to have watched him follow through on that pledge. Both as chairman and as sponsor of the Agricultural Advisory Committee, Tim has given agricultural producers and processors a seat at the table and offered them meaningful input in the rule-making processes.”

Related:Ag groups want CFTC nominees familiar with agriculture

Giancarlo is the sole Republican commissioner left, with Democrat Sharon Bowen. Giancarlo said he and Massad have discussed the importance of a “smooth transition,” and he expects to work closely with the CFTC staff in the coming days to ensure this outcome.

Ahead of the holidays, agriculture industry groups again highlighted the need to quickly fill the CFTC vacancies with individuals well versed in agricultural commodity markets and issues.

“We respectfully request that President-elect Trump, with the consent of the U.S. Senate, ensures the CFTC has at least one commissioner with a background in, and familiarity with, issues important to production agriculture and agribusiness. We appreciate your consideration,” the groups said in a letter to Vice President-elect Mike Pence.

The letter notes, “While derivative markets have grown beyond agricultural commodities and the CFTC’s regulatory footprint has been expanded, the agricultural futures markets remain as vital and integral to our farmers, ranchers and businesses as they were before the financial innovation that led us to today’s derivatives markets.”

With Massad’s departure, there will be three commissioner positions open.

About the Author(s)

Jacqui Fatka

Policy editor, Farm Futures

Jacqui Fatka grew up on a diversified livestock and grain farm in southwest Iowa and graduated from Iowa State University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communications, with a minor in agriculture education, in 2003. She’s been writing for agricultural audiences ever since. In college, she interned with Wallaces Farmer and cultivated her love of ag policy during an internship with the Iowa Pork Producers Association, working in Sen. Chuck Grassley’s Capitol Hill press office. In 2003, she started full time for Farm Progress companies’ state and regional publications as the e-content editor, and became Farm Futures’ policy editor in 2004. A few years later, she began covering grain and biofuels markets for the weekly newspaper Feedstuffs. As the current policy editor for Farm Progress, she covers the ongoing developments in ag policy, trade, regulations and court rulings. Fatka also serves as the interim executive secretary-treasurer for the North American Agricultural Journalists. She lives on a small acreage in central Ohio with her husband and three children.

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