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.
From Carolyn Cui and Sarah Lynch at WSJ: Foes take on leverage curbs from CFTC
An attempt by regulators to protect investors from volatile global currency markets has triggered an uproar among lawmakers, currency dealers and thousands of small traders.
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission has proposed rules that would reduce the amount of borrowed funds that retail investors can use when investing in the U.S. foreign-exchange market to as much as 10-to-1, from the existing 100-to-1 for major currencies.
Under current rules, a customer putting up a security deposit of $1,000 in cash will be able to trade a notional amount of $100,000, a common contract size for currencies such as the dollar and the Japanese yen. The new rule would cap that amount at $10,000.
The rules also would require dealers to abide by new capital and disclosure requirements.