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A Valentine to the CFTC

Commodity Futures Trading Commission chairman Gary Gensler Commodity Futures Trading Commission chairman Gary Gensler Jacquelyn Martin/AP

The Dec. 24 Time magazine ought to bring smiles to P.R. strategists at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission with its cover story “The Money Cop.”

The up-close portrait of CFTC Chairman Gary Gensler reports how he “strikes fear in the hearts of brazen bankers,” having just forced a $1.9 billion settlement by the British bank HSBC for money laundering.

Financial writer Rana Foroohar praises Gensler for taking on some of the bad actors from the 2008 financial crisis—noting that while working for the Clinton administration, Gensler had joined the parade of those who at the time advocated deregulating Wall Street.

Gensler recently presided over new rules that take effect at the end of this month requiring dealers in the complex tool called a credit default swap inside the United States to register with regulators. “You always feel safer on a lit street than a dark one,” he told the magazine.

Woven through the article are personal anecdotes about the 2006 death of Gensler’s wife from cancer, his chores keeping a household of three daughters in Baltimore, his twin brother’s work on Wall Street and his love of dancing.

The piece is available to Time subscribers.

Charlie Clark joined Government Executive in the fall of 2009. He has been on staff at The Washington Post, Congressional Quarterly, National Journal, Time-Life Books, Tax Analysts, the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges, and the National Center on Education and the Economy. He has written or edited online news, daily news stories, long features, wire copy, magazines, books and organizational media strategies.

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