Maverick CFTC member…a colorful regulator who pushed for strict oversight of Wall Street… Chilton cut an unusual figure for a financial regulator—most avoid attention and speak in acronym-rich dialogue—with his shock of blond hair and penchant for peppering speeches on arcane derivatives issues with references to movies and Bruce Springsteen lyrics.…he gave a speech before a bank lobbying group titled ‘Cinema of Uncertainty’ where he laid out his views on regulatory policy by referencing movie lines and plots. As a policymaker, Chilton took an aggressive stance against what he sees as Wall Street excess while promoting what he saw as the best interests of consumers and the so-called end-users who are farmers and ranchers who use derivatives to hedge price risks.
…Mr. Chilton, one of the most colourful regulators in Washington… Even some of his adversaries will miss his shoulder-length hair, the guitar perched in the corner of his office and especially his way with words. Many Chiltonisms…will live on as part of the commodities lexicon…
In one speech, Chilton “…relied on dozens of Bruce Springsteen songs to lend some drama to his speech about the economy…(using) song titles and lyrics from the Boss’ discography to describe decades of deregulation and the free market to the assembled journalists.
INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS TIMES
Bart Chilton…is easily the coolest financial regulator of all time …Bart Chilton gives speeches that are…amazing… He gave one…that was several riffs on the color red.
Writing rules for Wall Street doesn’t afford much opportunity for artistic license. Unless, that is, you’re Bart Chilton. Mr. Chilton…is prone to waxing poetic on arcane financial matters. Chilton has “…fired up…verbal fireworks in describing the process of putting the Dodd-Frank financial overhaul into effect. Mr. Chilton…often injects his special brand of commentary into weighty matters. When his words won’t do the trick, he quotes from rock ‘n’ roll. …he quoted the Beatles, referring to the investigation into the collapsed brokerage firm MF Global as a “magical mystery tour. He then shifted to another English Band: In this case, as the Stones sing, we ‘got no satisfaction.”
THE NEW YORK TIMES
It’s not that Chilton doesn’t delve into serious policy details, he does but he gets there in a more round-about fashion and becomes a sought-after public speaker…
THE BLOG OF LEGAL TIMES
More words of wisdom from the erudite Bart Chilton, who was in London yesterday to speak at a Goldman Sachs conference: There was unmistakable British theme to his speech this time, which is normally peppered with metaphorical references to cheetahs, tigers, or even Charlie Sheen. It was the King’s Speech film, about the stammering King George VI, which captured the his…imagination.” The Commissioner was “…the delightfully colourful Chilton…
GLOBAL FINANCIAL STRATEGY NEWS
Using the award-laden movie The King’s Speech as his palette, Chilton framed the turmoil of 2007-2008… Even though some disagree with his policy views“…he at least kept it entertaining – even throwing in some choice quotes from none other than Winston Churchill.” His speech “…was memorable…
Chilton’s speeches are indeed a roller coaster ride…Elaborate metaphors and weird anecdotes abound. Allusions to pop culture are interspersed with references to classical art and literature. He employs all manner of figures of speech, including puns (“False Profits“), alliteration (“Rules to Rein in a Racket“), and elaborate similes (“Maybe the process has looked a little like soup to some of you but, even it is soup, the broth is becoming clearer and clearer”). He draws on anecdotes from his personal life to illustrate points about speculative trading or the role of technology in the markets. He is a coiner of phrases: ‘Ponzimonium,’ ‘Massive Passives.
Partial to cowboy boots and a shoulder-length blond mane, he clears his mind between meetings by strumming on a Kay acoustic guitar in his stately office at the CFTC in Washington. Bart Chilton’s once out-of-step oil-market views could soon become law.” That was on speculative position limits, and they did become the law.
WALL STREET JOURNAL