Former Wall Street cop Gary Gensler to join Biden transition

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Gary Gensler, a former Obama administration official best known for cracking down on Wall Street banks, will join Joe Biden’s presidential transition team and lead its review of financial regulatory agencies, people familiar with the matter said.

Gensler’s involvement will likely calm the nerves of progressives who want Biden to take a hard line with the finance industry. The former Goldman Sachs partner faced off with the banking industry as chair of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission from 2009 to 2014, guiding the agency as it imposed new rules on Wall Street trading after the 2008 financial crisis.

Gensler’s work on the Biden transition is expected to focus on agencies including the Federal Reserve, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the CFTC. Gensler is currently a professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management.

A spokesperson for the Biden transition team declined to comment. The Wall Street Journal earlier reported Gensler’s involvement.

Sources said they also expected Don Graves, who recently worked for Cleveland-based KeyBank, to focus on financial policy. Graves, who was already announced as a member of Biden’s transition team, served in Biden’s vice presidential office and in the Treasury Department. Graves was KeyBank’s head of corporate responsibility and community relations until September.

At the CFTC, Gensler led efforts to impose sweeping new rules on the trading of financial derivatives known as swaps, which had been largely unregulated before they helped fuel the 2008 Wall Street meltdown.

He left the agency as one of the most consequential regulators in the aftermath of the financial crisis, having led the CFTC through a vast expansion of its powers and a major overhaul of how the government oversees derivatives markets.

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