Gensler Says Swaps Shift Off to ‘Very Good Start’

CFTC chair assessed move to electronic trading by phone amid shutdown.

Gary Gensler spent much of the past month fending off Wall Street’s campaign to slow the move to electronic swaps trading. So when the platforms went live last week, the top U.S. derivatives regulator wasn’t going to let a government shutdown stop him from monitoring its progress.

With most of the staff at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s Washington headquarters on furlough, Gensler, in his final months on the job, had to pick up the phone and call around to make sure the system was working. He pronounced himself satisfied.

Blind Agency

The agency is unable to keep a close eye on the markets because of the shutdown.

‘Complicated Rule’

The SEC “was saying, hold on a second, you’ve got to do your due diligence,” said Julian Hammar, an attorney at the Morrison & Foerster LLP law firm and former assistant general counsel at the CFTC who helped draft Dodd-Frank regulations. “It is a complicated rule.”

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