Thursday, May 21, 2009

Carbon Trading: Senate Confirms Goldman Alum to Head CFTC

Update below.
Original post:
And traders applaud. Via the New York Times:
CME Group Congratulates New CFTC Chairman Gensler
Mr. Gensler isn't just any Goldmanite, here's EconomicPolicyJournal:
Imagine my surprise.

The Senate on Tuesday confirmed Gary Gensler to head the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

Gensler spent 18 years at Goldman Sachs. His last position there was as co-head of finance. He also was involved in adding a layer of bureaucracy to corporate America when he acted as a Senior Adviser to Senator Paul Sarbanes, one of the authors of legislation that eventually became the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.

Gensler received his MBA from the Wharton School. A friend who attended Wharton with Gensler tells me he was the smartest student in the class. When Goldman visited the campus the year Gensler graduated, Gensler was the only student that they wanted to talk to.
As we pointed out in "Who Will Be the U.S. Carbon Czar? FERC? CFTC? Me?", there is a good chance that the CFTC will end up as the regulator over this kind of mindset, relayed in "California's cap-and-trade won't work":
The whole reason for the existence of traders is to make as much money as possible, consistent with what's legal...I lived through this: if you didn't manipulate the market and manipulation was accessible to you, that's when you were yelled at.
-Former Goldman Sachs trader
New York Times, May 8, 2002
Or this, same mindset, different timezone, from the "The Bored Whore of Kyoto":
"I don't know if climate change is caused by burning coal or sun flares or what," said the Moscow-based carbon cowboy. "And I don't really give a shit. Russia is the most energy inefficient country around, and carbon is the most volatile market ever. There's a lot of opportunity to make money."

UPDATE: I forgot a link. Here's Senator Bernie Sanders on why he placed a hold on Mr. Gensler's nomination:
While Mr. Gensler is clearly an intelligent and knowledgeable person, I cannot support his nomination. Mr. Gensler worked with Sen. Phil Gramm and Alan Greenspan to exempt credit default swaps from regulation, which led to the collapse of A.I.G. and has resulted in the largest taxpayer bailout in U.S. history. He supported Gramm-Leach-Bliley, which allowed banks like Citigroup to become “too big to fail.” He worked to deregulate electronic energy trading, which led to the downfall of Enron and the spike in energy prices. At this moment in our history, we need an independent leader who will help create a new culture in the financial marketplace and move us away from the greed, recklessness and illegal behavior which has caused so much harm to our economy.
HT: The Economic Populist who writes:
The last thing we need in a critical regulatory body is another deregulation cheerleader see regulating alphabet soup.
There is another yet unnamed Senator joining in the fight.