Regulator Chilton says ‘at last’ in announcing he’ll leave CFTC

Bart Chilton, a U.S. regulator known for using pop music lyrics to make points about the impact of derivatives and commodity trading on consumers, said he will step down from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

A member of the CFTC since 2007, Chilton, 53, said at an agency meeting today that he would quit “in the not too distant future.” Chilton said today’s public vote was his “last Dodd- Frank meeting,” referring to the 2010 law that mandated dozens of regulations the CFTC has adopted over the past three years.

Chilton’s announcement comes less than two months before CFTC Chairman Gary Gensler, a fellow Democrat, is to leave the agency. With one seat on the five-member commission already vacant, departures by Chilton and Gensler would leave the panel with two members, Republican Scott O’Malia and Democrat Mark Wetjen.

“I wrote to the President early this morning and said I’ll be leaving in the not too distant future,” said Chilton, whose term as a CFTC commissioner expired in April. He could stay on the commission through December 2014.

Chilton said he waited to announce his resignation until the agency voted to propose position limits for speculative commodity trading, which Chilton has blamed for driving up consumer prices for gasoline. He didn’t state what he’d do after leaving the commission.

Sticking with his custom of peppering speeches with pop culture references, Chilton referred to Etta James’ song, “At Last,” then tacked on a reference to The Eagles.

“Here we are finally, at last, today, and we are going to take it to the limit one more time,” he said.

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