CHICAGO Commodity Futures Trading Commission Chairman Gary Gensler says he's so close to his counterpart at the Securities and Exchange Commission that SEC Chief Mary Schapiro gave him a treat a couple weeks back.
"Mary and I talk often," he told a crowd at the Futures Industry Association's annual meeting in Chicago. "It was my birthday a few weeks ago. She made me cupcakes. They were good cupcakes too, and they were homemade!"
Schapiro and Gensler have taken great pains to publicly show they are working together instead of feuding over turf, as their agencies historically often did.
While the SEC retains oversight of securities-based swaps, the CFTC has the biggest share of responsibilities implementing the derivatives reforms of Dodd-Frank, the sweeping Wall Street reform legislation for which both agencies are racing to write rules.
Staffers from the agencies have been working in concert on regulations, Gensler said.
Gensler's copy of the Dodd-Frank law, cover signed by regulators, includes this comment from Schapiro -- herself a former chair of the CFTC.
"Together we can make this the most successful partnership in government," she wrote.
The idea of baked goods as a tool to smooth otherwise tense relationships wasn't lost on CME Group Inc CEO Craig Donohue, who has been at odds with Gensler on some of the proposed rules.
Arriving late at a panel following the regulator's speech at the futures conference, Donohue joked he had been delayed because he had been doing some research -- on cupcakes.
(With additional reporting by Roberta Rampton in Washington and Jonathan Spicer in Chicago; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)