90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Gary Gensler, Obama’s Toughest Fighter For Wall Street Reform

Gary Gensler is a hero to those who call for a crackdown on Wall Street. “Arch-enemy” to those who don’t. He’s leaving his top watchdog  job, and sits with us for an exit interview.

Outgoing Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Chairman Gary Gensler testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, July 30, 2013, before the Senate Banking Committee as lawmakers examine how to mitigate systemic risk in financial markets through Wall Street reforms. (AP)

Outgoing Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Chairman Gary Gensler testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, July 30, 2013, before the Senate Banking Committee as lawmakers examine how to mitigate systemic risk in financial markets through Wall Street reforms. (AP)

No top heads have rolled.  No big banker sits in jail.  America’s biggest banks – the “too big to fail brigade” – have not been broken up.  But you had better believe there’s been a battle on since the Great Crash and Recession to try to clean up Wall Street.  And the toughest battler of all in the Obama administration has been Gary Gensler.  A onetime Goldman Sachs prodigy himself who helped undo regulation, then turned around to fight for it.  He drives Wall Street crazy.  After five years fighting, he’s on his way out.  This hour On Point:  Wall Street now and the exit interview with big fighter, Gary Gensler.

– Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Jesse Eisinger, Pulitzer Prize-winning financial reporter for ProPublica. (@EisingerJ)

Gary Gensler, outgoing chairman of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission. (@CFTC)

From Tom’s Reading List

Wall Street Journal: Gensler’s Record: Achievements and Disappointments — “Mr. Gensler began his tenure amid an economic meltdown sparked in large part by the implosion of parts of the derivatives market. Large firms with complex ties to the financial system such as American International Group Inc. and Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. suffered devastating losses on bad bets on derivatives, which nearly caused the financial system to collapse. The 2010 Dodd-Frank law was designed by Congress to ward off the threat of such a collapse by the meltdown of too-big-to-fail companies.”

Washington Post: Gary Gensler explains how financial reform is going — “On Oct. 2, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) oversaw the launch of ‘swap execution facility’ platforms. Called the ‘future of derivatives trading’ by Bloomberg, these platforms are the culmination of reforms in Dodd-Frank designed to bring price transparency to the opaque and dark over-the-counter derivatives market that helped cause the financial crisis. And, unlike the health-care exchanges in Obamacare, these electronic platforms launched without any notable problems.”

Bloomberg: Wall Street May Take Derivatives Regulator to Court — “The financial industry’s trade groups have consulted with lawyers about how to block Gensler’s final moves, according to four people briefed on the matter. A lawsuit would probably be focused on CFTC guidance issued in July that described when the agency should defer its rules in favor of regulations by foreign derivatives overseers, the people said. Gensler, 56, has fought a five-year battle with the industry over how to draw up a safer and more open marketplace for derivatives, the products that helped push the world economy to the precipice in 2008.”

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Dec 19, 2014
Alan Gross, waves as he and his wife Judy leave following his statement at his lawyer's office in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014. Gross was released from Cuba after 5 years in a Cuban prison. (AP)

Cuba reset. Russia’s rubble troubles. School massacre in Pakistan. Jeb explores 2016. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Dec 19, 2014
Soledad, and from left, Nina Pastori, and Lila Downs perform on stage at the Latin Recording Academy Person of the Year Tribute honoring Joan Manuel Serrat at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino on Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2014, in Las Vegas. (AP)

From crossover hits to hip-hop to soul, we look at a big year in the wide world of Latin music.

RECENT
SHOWS
Dec 18, 2014
A poster for the movie "The Interview" is carried away by a worker after being pulled from a display case at a Carmike Cinemas movie theater, Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014, in Atlanta. (AP)

A big Sony hack gets weirder and wider. And Hollywood and Homeland Security are on edge.

 
Dec 18, 2014
This handout photo from the Twitter account of Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz. shows Alan Gross arriving at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014. The US and Cuba have agreed to re-establish diplomatic relations and open economic and travel ties, marking a historic shift in U.S. policy toward the communist island after a half-century of enmity dating back to the Cold War, American officials said Wednesday. (AP)

Following months of secret talks the US will restore full diplomatic relations with Cuba after more than fifty years.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Our Week In The Web: December 19, 2014
Friday, Dec 19, 2014

Rage, shortlinks and things you people seem to be into, we guess. Also, Putin.

More »
Comment
 
Cosby Accuser Beverly Johnson: ‘He's A Black Man. I Had To Separate The Trayvon Martins, The Michael Browns From What Happened To Me’
Tuesday, Dec 16, 2014

Beverly Johnson accused comedian Bill Cosby of drugging her in a high-profile Vanity Fair column. She tells us why she waited so long to share her story, and why it was even harder to share now.

More »
2 Comments
 
Our Week In The Web: December 12, 2014
Friday, Dec 12, 2014

On listener engagement, the meeting of trans-Atlantic royalty and the elusive origins of the chicken. (We promise this feed hasn’t been taken over the BBC…yet)

More »
Comment