| WASHINGTON, March 8
WASHINGTON, March 8 The top U.S. derivatives
regulator will lose a key aide who oversaw much of the agency's
reform of Wall Street, just as it enters the crucial last phase
of implementing the new rules.
Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) General Counsel
Dan Berkovitz, who is 56, will leave at the end of the month to
retire, the CFTC said on Friday.
A top aide to Chairman Gary Gensler, Berkovitz led the legal
review of a host of new rules the agency was mandated to write
through the Dodd-Frank financial reform act, an effort to avoid
a repeat of the 2007-09 credit meltdown.
The law gave the Commission, once relatively unknown, vast
new powers to regulate the $650 trillion derivatives market. It
has since written rules for swap dealers to register, and for
clearing houses to stand between buyers and sellers.
But the design of exchange-like trading platforms on which
derivatives such as swaps must be traded remains outstanding,
and a vote has repeatedly been delayed.
Berkovitz also played a central role in defending the CFTC
against litigation challenging some of its new rules, for
instance when two industry trade groups sought to block
registration with the CFTC.
President Barack Obama has asked Gensler to serve a second
term, according to a person familiar with the situation, but
Gensler has not yet decided if he will stay.
The Democratic victory in last year's presidential election
has changed the succession dynamics at the CFTC, scuppering
chances of any Republican hopefuls. Commissioner Jill Sommers, a
Republican, has since announced her departure.
Commissioner Mark Wetjen, a Democrat who worked for Senate
majority leader Harry Reid, is seen as a possible successor to
Gensler, should the latter leave.