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Bowen Confirmed to U.S. Derivatives Regulator by Senate Vote

Tuesday, 03 Jun 2014 06:13 PM

(Updates with votes later today on Massad, Giancarlo, party breakdown of Bowen vote in fourth paragraph. )

June 3 (Bloomberg) -- Sharon Y. Bowen was confirmed by the U.S. Senate today to serve as a commissioner at the main derivatives regulator as lawmakers prepare to confirm two additional nominees to bring the agency up to a full roster.

The Senate voted 48-46 to confirm Bowen, a New York-based lawyer at Latham & Watkins LLP, as a member of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission. Senate leaders planned to vote later today on two other CFTC nominees: Treasury Department official Timothy Massad as chairman of the CFTC and J. Christopher Giancarlo as a commissioner.

“The commission will benefit from Ms. Bowen’s experience and expertise, as will the farmers, ranchers and small businesses across the country who rely on the markets to hedge risk and continue growing their businesses,” said Senator Debbie Stabenow, the Michigan Democrat who chairs the Senate Agriculture Committee, which oversees the agency.

Bowen’s confirmation was opposed by 42 Republicans and four senators who caucus with the Democrats, including Vermont Independent Bernie Sanders.

“We need regulators who will have the courage to stop the largest Wall Street banks in this country from driving up oil prices in the energy futures market,” Sanders said in a statement after the vote. “After reviewing her record and those of two other nominees, I am afraid that none of them will make sure that the price of gasoline and heating oil is based on supply and demand and not Wall Street greed.

Stanford Victims

Some senators, including Louisiana Republican David Vitter, opposed Bowen’s confirmation because of her role in overseeing the panel that ruled against compensating victims of the R. Allen Stanford Ponzi scheme.

Massad, Bowen and Giancarlo would join commissioners Mark P. Wetjen and Scott O’Malia on the five-member panel, which historically oversaw agricultural and commodity futures contracts traded by farmers, manufacturers and the banks that served them.

‘‘Once they are confirmed, the CFTC will once again have a full complement of commissioners,” Stabenow said.

The 2010 Dodd-Frank Act gave the agency authority for the first time to regulate swaps, complex derivatives that in the 1980s began trading privately on Wall Street between banks, hedge funds and other clients. Swaps, whose face value can reach trillions of dollars, were blamed for helping destabilize the financial system in 2008.

--With assistance from Kathleen Hunter in Washington.

To contact the reporters on this story: Silla Brush in Washington at sbrush@bloomberg.net; Cheyenne Hopkins in Washington at chopkins19@bloomberg.net To contact the editors responsible for this story: Maura Reynolds at mreynolds34@bloomberg.net Anthony Gnoffo

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Bowen Confirmed to U.S. Derivatives Regulator by Senate Vote
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Tuesday, 03 Jun 2014 06:13 PM
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