Commissioner Jill Sommers said she would step down from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, leaving the regulator firmly in Democratic hands as it puts the last building blocks of a Wall Street overhaul in place.
Sommers, one of two members of the CFTC's Republican minority, had often been critical of the agency's decisions as it draws up new rules for the $650 trillion derivatives markets as part of the 2010 Dodd-Frank law, which lawmakers crafted in response to the 2007-09 U.S. financial crisis.
"I did not always agree with the direction of the agency," Sommers said on Thursday in a letter to CFTC Chairman Gary Gensler, a former Goldman Sachs banker.
The CFTC's powers were vastly expanded when the Dodd-Frank law put it in charge of so far unregulated swaps, dominated by Wall Street's big investment banks, such as JPMorgan Chase & Co and Bank of America.
Before that, the commission's oversight was limited to futures markets, and it was not perceived as a particularly
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