By Margaret Chadbourn
WASHINGTON Oct 4 Timothy Massad, the U.S.
Treasury official who leads the country's bank bailout program,
is stepping down from his job and is reportedly being vetted to
become the next head of the Commodity Futures Trading
Gary Gensler, the current CFTC chairman, ends a five-year
term at the top U.S. derivatives regulator at the end of the
Financial industry lobbyists and people inside the agency
have been furiously speculating who would succeed him, and the
New York Times reported on Thursday that President Barack Obama
was vetting Massad as a candidate.
Massad will leave his post as assistant secretary for
financial stability at the Treasury later this fall, a Treasury
official said on Friday, without elaborating. At Treasury, he
most recently oversaw the government's $700 billion Trouble
Asset Relief Program, which was used to stabilize the banking
system during the financial crisis.
The White House declined to comment on the New York Times
report, while the CFTC could not be reached because of the
shutdown of many U.S. government operations this week due to a
Amanda Renteria, a former chief of staff for Senator Debbie
Stabenow, who heads the Senate Agriculture Committee, had been
under consideration for the CFTC post, but withdrew her name in
July, saying she was returning to California.
Since Massad is already in a senior government position,
lobbyists said any vetting process could move quickly.
Massad was a partner at New York-based law firm Cravath,
Swaine & Moore LLP for 17 years. While on leave from the firm in
late 2008 and early 2009, Massad was special legal adviser to a
congressional panel on economic stability.
He joined Treasury in May 2009 as the chief counsel for the
Office of Financial Stability. He took the TARP program's helm
three years ago and has been working most recently to unwind
investments the Treasury made during the 2007-2009 financial
TARP, enacted in October 2008, was used to prevent a
collapse of the U.S. financial system. It injected capital into
hundreds of banks, including Goldman Sachs, Citigroup Inc
and Bank of America Corp and was used to bailout
insurer American International Group.
TARP funds have also been used to shore up the U.S. auto
industry and assist homeowners who fall behind on their
"Tim's skillful administration of TARP and management of its
wind down has provided incredible benefits to the American
economy," said Treasury Secretary Jack Lew.