By James Kwak
Gary Gensler, chair of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, has gotten a fair amount of credit for being one of the good guys when it comes to financial regulation after the financial crisis. Kambiz Foroohar has a very favorable portrayal of Gensler in Bloomberg Magazine. It’s pretty much the usual, but I appreciated Gensler’s bluntness when it comes to his past positions on derivatives (as an official in the Rubin-Summers Treasury):
“As a Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) partner and then Treasury undersecretary, Gensler had lined up with the hands-off- derivatives crowd behind the $601 trillion global market.
“He says the near-collapse of the world’s financial system changed his mind about regulation.
“’My thinking has evolved,’ Gensler says in his ninth- floor Washington office, which is decorated with artwork by his three daughters. ‘I was part of the consensus view on derivatives, and it’s fair to say that the consensus missed it. We should have done more to protect the American people.'”
That’s about the closest thing to an apology you’ll hear from anyone involved in creating the financial crisis.