In this file photo taken on June 19, 2012, Gary Gensler, then chairman of the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission, testifies during a US House Financial Services Committee hearing. President-elect Joe Biden is expected to nominate him as the country's top stock market watchdog, US media reported January 12. Photo: AFP / Saul Loeb

President-elect Joe Biden is expected to nominate a former Obama administration derivatives regulator with a reputation for toughness as the country’s top stock market watchdog, US media reported Tuesday.

Biden will tap Gary Gensler to lead the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), according to news outlets, a position where he could roll back the efforts of outgoing president Donald Trump’s administration to ease regulations imposed in the wake of the 2008 global financial crisis.

Progressives who favor tighter control over financial markets are likely to cheer the pick given Gensler’s reputation for standing up to Wall Street powers.

Gensler led the Commodities Future Trading Commission from 2009 to 2014 during Barack Obama’s presidency, spearheading the effort to reform the massive swaps market – a financial instrument that featured prominently in the 2008-2010 financial crisis.

Gensler has a long history in government, previously serving in senior roles the Treasury Department during President Bill Clinton’s administration.

Prior to that, he was a senior executive at Goldman Sachs, and currently he is a professor of management and economics at the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

– AFP