(Adds background and details about the CFTC and Giancarlo's
positions on regulation)
By Sarah N. Lynch
WASHINGTON, March 14 President Donald Trump
plans to nominate J. Christopher Giancarlo to lead the Commodity
Futures Trading Commission, the regulator tasked with policing
the massive over-the-counter derivatives market, the White House
said on Tuesday.
Giancarlo, a Republican, has been acting chairman of the
CFTC since Jan. 20 and was widely expected to be tapped for the
permanent position of chairman. He became a CFTC commissioner in
The nomination comes just one day before Giancarlo is
expected to give a major policy address at the annual Futures
Industry Association conference in Boca Raton, Florida, where he
plans to lay out his regulatory vision for the agency.
The CFTC won broad new powers from the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall
Street reform law to regulate the swaps market, which until then
had been largely unpoliced.
Giancarlo previously served as executive vice president of
financial services group GFI Group Inc. Throughout his tenure as
a CFTC commissioner, Giancarlo has been critical of the way the
agency has implemented many of the new rules required by
He issued a white paper in 2015, for instance, which accused
the CFTC's regulatory framework of driving global traders away
from the United States, fragmenting the marketplace and
increasing liquidity risk.
He has dissented on a number of other major policy areas,
including a proposal requiring automated traders to hand over
sensitive code without a subpoena - something Giancarlo said
"would strip owners of intellectual property of due process of
As chairman, Giancarlo is likely to focus his energy on
scaling back rules that he believes are overly burdensome to
help boost economic growth - a vision that is also shared by Jay
Clayton, Trump's pick to head the CFTC's sister regulator, the
Securities and Exchange Commission.
In a speech Monday before the Institute of International
Bankers, Giancarlo criticized those who have dwelled heavily on
preventing a repeat of the financial crisis, saying the impact
has been to "sideline capital from productive uses."
If confirmed as chairman, however, Giancarlo could face some
initial challenges getting his agenda adopted.
Currently, the five-member panel is down to two
commissioners - Giancarlo and Sharon Bowen, a Democrat. If the
two disagree on a decision, the measure cannot pass.
Giancarlo acknowledged this challenge in his speech Monday,
saying the agency cannot proceed on a controversial position
limits rule without a full commission.
Trump has not yet nominated anyone for the remaining three
(Reporting by Sarah N. Lynch; Additional reporting by Eric
Walsh; Editing by Sandra Maler and Leslie Adler)