The Great Debate

Massad: Taking the reins on derivative reforms

April 9, 2014

The Senate Agriculture Committee met Tuesday to approve the nomination of Tim Massad as chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, even as the agency fumbles over the definition of a “swap.”

Derivative rules: Global problem needs global solution

By Martin Neil Baily and Aaron Klein
July 10, 2013

The 2008 financial crisis demonstrated how interconnected the global financial system is. What began as a real estate bubble fueled by subprime mortgages in many states ballooned into a global financial panic of unprecedented magnitude. Bundles of poorly underwritten mortgages generated toxic derivatives bet on in a global market. When the dust settled, there was broad agreement that not only did we need a new financial regulatory regime, it had to be globally coordinated.

The real reason for spikes in food prices

By Yaneer Bar-Yam and Greg Lindsay
October 25, 2012

Spikes in grain prices are regularly blamed on oil shocks, droughts and emerging markets’ hunger for meat. The real culprit in the three bubbles-and-busts of the last five years, however, isn’t the weather. It’s financial speculation.

from Rolfe Winkler:

Go for it Gary

March 6, 2010

Gary Gensler -- regulator and, yes, Goldman alum -- has distinguished himself in Washington. As CFTC Chairman, he's fought to impose stricter rules on OTC derivatives and recently proposed rules that would cut the leverage currency traders are allowed to deploy from 100:1 to 10:1. Lest we all forget how dangerous leverage can be when traders misuse it, there's LTCM to serve as exhibit A. In a clear sign that Gensler is fighting the good fight, traders are screaming about the proposed rule. Fantastic.

Senators press tough line on commodity rules

April 1, 2009

johnkemp1

Prominent senators have put Gary Gensler’s nomination to head the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) on “hold” in a bid to force the administration to take a tougher line on commodity regulation.