CFTC nominees confirmed

April 7, 2022

The Senate confirmed four nominees for the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC): Christy Goldsmith Romero, Kristin N. Johnson, Summer Kristine Mersinger, and Caroline D. Pham. The normally five-member commission had recently been down to two commissioners, Chairman Rostin Benham and Dawn DeBerry Stump, because of departures and term expirations. Stump has announced her upcoming departure, so once sworn in, the four new commissioners will put the CFTC at full strength for the first time in a while.

In general, when independent commissions like the CFTC lose members, their ability to enact major new policies tends to diminish. In the current situation, Benham is a Democrat and Stump a Republican, so no issue with a partisan tinge can be easily resolved.

Although the CFTC’s regulatory structure is now fairly stable, a major question is whether and how the commission might regulate cryptocurrency trading. Stump recently gave a speech in which she noted (correctly) that the CFTC has little jurisdiction over cash markets, whether for cattle or crypto, so any regulation would deal with futures, options and other derivatives involving cryptocurrencies.

This is the first time that four of the five CFTC commissioners will be women.