Obama Fed Nominees Fail to Get Senate Approval
The United States Senate approved several Obama appointees last Thursday that included top financial industry regulators at three federal agencies. But the legislators failed to agree on two top nominees to the Federal Reserve Board.
Jerome Powell, a former private equity executive, and Jeremy Stein, a Harvard University economics professor, failed to get the approval of the Senate and their nominations would be set for a later date. Those who got their confirmations to the Federal Deposit insurance through voice votes are Martin Gruenberg as chairman, Thomas Hoenig as vice chairman, and Jeremiah Norton as director. Gruenberg has been on the FDIC’s board since 2005.
The Senate has also confirmed Thomas Curry as Comptroller of the Currency. He would head the US Treasury agency that regulates the largest banks in the country. He also sits on the FDIC’s board. The FDIC board can’t have more than three members of one political party. This is why President Obama nominated two Republicans, who are Hoenig, a former president of the Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank, and Norton, a former official in President George W. Bush’s administration and currently an executive of JP Morgan Chase.
Before the confirmation last Thursday, majority of FDIC board were serving in an interim capacity. These include Gruenberg and Curry. John Walsh was the acting comptroller for more than a year. Senate Banking Chairman Tim Johnson of South Dakota said that it is important to have strong leaders as financial regulators to continue the country’s economic recovery.
Mary John Miller was confirmed as undersecretary of the Treasury department. She played a vital part in managing the US public debt in her previous job as assistant secretary for financial markets. As an undersecretary, she would have bigger responsibilities, which include financial industry regulation.
Federal Trade Commission Chairman Jon Leibowitz was confirmed for another seven year term at the agency. Christy Romero was confirmed as the new special inspector for the Troubled Asset Relief Program.