July 13, 2024

Official From F.D.I.C. Picked To Lead Banking Regulator

Mr. Curry, a longtime state banking regulator in Massachusetts, has served for the last seven years as one of the five directors of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.

Mr. Obama also said he would nominate Mary J. Miller as under secretary of the Treasury for domestic finance. She is currently assistant secretary for financial markets.

Mr. Curry’s nomination responds to the demands of Senate Democrats that the White House replace the acting head of the comptroller’s office, John G. Walsh, whom they regard as obstructing key aspects of the law passed last year to overhaul financial regulation.

But Mr. Curry’s confirmation also requires the acquiescence of Senate Republicans, who support many of the decisions made under Mr. Walsh and are likely to grill Mr. Curry about his commitment to maintaining the agency’s independence from the administration.

There are now more than a dozen vacancies in senior regulatory and economic positions. Mr. Obama has yet to nominate people to fill many of those jobs, while others remain vacant because Senate Republicans have refused to allow votes on his selections.

The comptroller’s office has lacked a permanent leader for almost a year.

Senator Tim Johnson, the South Dakota Democrat who is chairman of the banking committee, issued a statement praising Mr. Curry and pledging to advance his nomination “as quickly as possible.”

“Tom has been a strong, effective director at the F.D.I.C. for the past seven years, and his experience should serve him well as the next comptroller of the currency,” Mr. Johnson said.

Senator Richard Shelby, the ranking Republican, did not respond to a request for comment.

Mr. Walsh has angered Democrats by arguing in speeches that the extent of new and planned regulations may impair the health of the banking industry, in particular capital requirements that place new limits on the ability of banks to borrow money.

A second issue concerns the balance of state and federal power. The comptroller’s office has fought with considerable success to exempt national banks from the requirements of state laws. The financial legislation passed last year required the agency to revisit the issue, and last month it issued a proposal that would leave its longstanding policies essentially unchanged.

In response, the Treasury Department took the unprecedented step of submitting a public comment to the agency criticizing its proposal for ignoring the law’s intent.

Mr. Curry, who spent almost a decade running a state banking agency, has made it clear that he believes that states should have more latitude to apply laws that protect consumers.

His current thoughts are likely to be a central subject at his confirmation hearing.

Ms. Miller joined the Treasury Department last year. She now oversees the vast task of borrowing money to finance the government’s operations. Earlier on Friday, she announced her latest estimate — Aug. 2 — of when the government would reach the limit of its borrowing authority, unable to pay its bills unless Congress authorizes additional borrowing.

She spent 26 years at T. Rowe Price, rising to lead its fixed-income division.

She would succeed the current under secretary for domestic finance, Jeffrey A. Goldstein, who has announced that he will leave the department at the end of the month.

Article source: http://feeds.nytimes.com/click.phdo?i=c56e6a8d3965396e4d81da57536a9435

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