Release: Sanders Lifts Gensler Hold

Citing Progress on Market Regulation, Sanders Clears Way for New CFTC Chairman

WASHINGTON, May 14 - A day after the Obama administration sought new powers to regulate speculators, Sen. Bernie Sanders today lifted his objection to a Senate vote on President Obama's nominee to oversee commodity markets.

Sanders met with Gary Gensler, the president's pick to chair the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, to discuss the regulatory reform package that Sanders called a major step forward.

"As a result of the greed, recklessness and illegal behavior of Wall Street, our country has been thrown into a deep recession which has caused intense suffering for millions," Sanders said. "We need to end the current era of financial deregulation which largely caused this crisis, and move to a Wall Street which understands the need for long-term productive investment and job creation rather than short-term profits, outrageous salaries and a bubble economy."

The administration yesterday asked Congress for new legal authority to monitor the complex financial instruments known as derivatives. Virtually unchecked trading in the unregulated financial instruments was a major cause of the financial crisis.

In the meeting today with Sanders, Gensler pledged to work on additional reforms, including the regulation of hedge funds, making sure that banks are not allowed to manipulate the price of heating oil and crude oil, and preventing the enormous conflicts of interest that exist in energy markets.

"The commitments I received from Mr. Gensler along with President Obama's strong plan to regulate financial markets demonstrate the administration's determination to make sure that the financial mess that we are in never happens again," Sanders said.

Gensler provided written responses to questions posed by the senator on several important regulatory issues. To read Gensler's responses to the Sanders' questions, click here.