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New CFTC Chair Nominated



President Barack Obama has nominated Treasury Department official Timothy Massad to replace outgoing Chairman Gary Gensler. According to the President - Massad has a commitment to transparency and openness that he wants to continue at the CFTC. Massad has had the job of winding down the Troubled Asset Relief Program. President Obama says the banks that benefited from TARP have repaid nearly every single dollar under Massad’s watch. In addition - he says Massad has secured a positive return of nearly 30-billion dollars to the American taxpayer. The President also praised Gensler and his staff - noting they’ve successfully imposed nearly 1.8-billion dollars in penalties against financial firms that engaged in rate-fixing schemes. He says they also worked to ensure an irresponsible few can’t hurt consumers by illegally manipulating or rigging energy markets for their own gain. CFTC Commissioner Bart Chilton is also stepping down. A coalition of key agriculture groups asked President Obama to nominate someone with an agricultural background as the new Commissioner.

In a letter to the President - the American Farm Bureau Federation, National Farmers Union and commodity groups wrote that Chilton had an extensive agricultural background - having worked on agricultural policy issues in the U.S. Senate and USDA before taking a key position at an agricultural trade group. The letter continues that his departure leaves the agricultural industry without a commissioner with background in their market sector. That’s why the groups say it’s critically important to nominate at least one of the vacant commissioner seats to an individual with a working understanding of agricultural futures markets and the ag industry.

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