The man’s got moves: CFTC’s Gensler breaks it down on the dancefloor

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U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Chairman Gary Gensler was the center of conversation at the Futures Industry Association conference in Boca Raton last week.

Many of the traders, executives, and regulators gathered for the annual conference were talking about the CFTC swaps clearing mandate just put in place, while others were asking when the rules governing swaps execution facilities would be finalized. Others still questioned whether Gensler would stay on for a second term as CFTC chairman.

But the one thing everyone was talking about was Gensler’s moves on the dance floor. The 55-year-old showed off his skills at a “South Beach-style” party for attendees on Tuesday night as cell phone cameras rolled.

Gensler’s grilling

Dave Clarke also contributed to this post.

Inside the Beltway, the ability to stay on message is a coveted trait. Politicians hate letting tough questions sidetrack them from their talking points. But it turns out they don’t particularly like it when others use the same tactic on them.

On Tuesday, Republicans blistered Commodity Futures Trading Commission Chairman Gary Gensler at a Senate Banking Committee hearing, expressing frustration with his answers – or lack thereof.

In particular they  focused on why in early November Gensler opted to recuse himself from participating in all matters related to the collapse and investigation of brokerage firm MF Global. Gensler once worked under MF Global CEO Jon Corzine while the two were at Goldman Sachs, and he worked on the Sarbanes-Oxley Act while Corzine served on the Senate Banking Committee.

MF Global knows its former clients’ pain

Futures customers who smartly pulled their money out of failed MF Global Holdings Inc. in the weeks or months before the broker’s Oct. 31 collapse may not have escaped calamity after all.

As Reuters’ Jeanine Prezioso reports, some are worried the bankruptcy trustee could come after those funds to force them to share in any losses.

MF Global knows the feeling. It’s been there, and done that.

After futures broker Sentinel Management Group Inc failed in 2007, the trustee in that case, Frederick Grede, sued 50 of its former customers to recoup $600 million in funds withdrawn prior to the bankruptcy.