Former CFTC Commissioner Bart Chilton Dies at 58

A CFTC commissioner from 2007 to 2014, Chilton’s appearance was anything but what you would expect from a financial regulator. The industry will miss his straight talk as well as his sense of humor.

Over the weekend former CFTC Commissioner Bart Chilton passed away. He was 58.

A CFTC commissioner from 2007 to 2014, Chilton’s appearance was anything but what you would expect from a financial regulator. He was easily recognized sporting very non-regulator-looking shoulder-length blonde hair and consistently wearing cowboy boots.

Chilton was a favorite guest among the financial media due to his direct talk and sense of humor. In a 2016 interview on CNBC he was asked if he would put his money in the domestic Chinese stock market; “Who would want to trade there?” he first responded, adding, “You don’t know what’s going on.” When pressed for a further response, he replied, “I was a government guy for 30 years; I don’t have any money.”

Chilton’s career mostly was spent in government service, starting in 1985 when he was legislative director for three different members of Congress. He moved into the executive branch of government in 1995, rising to Deputy Chief of Staff for US Secretary of Agriculture Dan Glickman. From 2001 to 2005, he was a Senior Advisor to Senator Tom Daschle, and from 2005 to 2006 he was Senior Assistant to the board at the US Farm Credit Administration. It should be noted that Chilton was appointed to positions by both Presidents Clinton and George W. Bush, an indication that he was greatly respected by both parties. Finally, in 2007 he was nominated to the CFTC and confirmed by the US Senate. He was re-nominated in 2009 by President Obama and served in as a commissioner until 2014. During his tenure he authored, “Ponzimonium: How Scam Artists are Ripping Off America.”

Post-CFTC, Chilton was a frequent voice of reason with respect to the financial markets. He continued to share his opinion through various articles on topics of the day and as host of the RT America financial show “Boom Bust.” RT America announced Chilton’s death late Saturday, citing a “sudden illness.” The industry will miss his straight talk as well as his sense of humor. He is survived by his wife Sherry.

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