OMG! Regulation According to the Obama Administration
Pic credit: JoeMurphy via Flickr
Remember when you guys complained about Bush all the time (yeah I did it too)? I'm starting to think we should invite him back for a little bit; at least he was horribly transparent about his "screw you, I'm the president" agenda. Christ, did I just defend GWB? This must be bad.
President Obama has the chance during his first term to appoint leaders for each of the federal agencies that oversee banks, an important opportunity to reshape the government's approach to regulation even as the White House struggles to push structural reforms through the Senate.
In his first such decision, Obama chose to keep Ben S. Bernanke as chairman of the Federal Reserve, in part because administration officials concluded that Bernanke had demonstrated a commitment to increasing the Fed's focus on regulation and consumer protection. The administration also appointed a second Fed governor, Daniel K. Tarullo, to lead an overhaul of the central bank's approach to regulation.
A second opportunity comes in August, when John C. Dugan reaches the end of his term as comptroller of the currency, the chief regulator for most of the nation's largest banks.
In addition, the Senate is moving toward legislation that would authorize the president to appoint a new regulator devoted to protecting consumers from abuse by lenders.
The hiring opportunities, which also include a vacancy at the Office of Thrift Supervision and the end of Sheila C. Bair's term as chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. in June 2011, will allow the White House greater control over the implementation of financial reform legislation.
It's cool, it's not like they can create some regulatory mutant made solely of Democrats:
Political affiliation could play a counterintuitive role in the appointment process. Federal law stipulates that the FDIC's five-member board can include no more than three members of the same party. The heads of the FDIC, OCC and OTS all hold seats on the board, and some proposals would grant seats to the Fed and the new consumer regulator. That could force the administration to consider independent and Republican candidates.
Still, Ben Bernanke is supposedly a Republican. If you smear away the dirt of partisanship, you realize what we're actually working with. If you've forgotten, I can remind you that our allegedly polar opposite of George W Bush president just extended the PATRIOT Act.
Let's not forget the gaping hole at the Board of Governors. *cough*