The “Vacuum” of Financial Leadership

Pulitzer prize winning investigative reporter Jesse Eisinger — he insists I write that intro every time I mention his name (heh heh) — has an interesting ProPublica/NYT column out this morning looking at the many empty appointments at key agencies in Washington DC:

“The administration has inexplicably left open the vice chairman for banking supervision, a new position at the Federal Reserve created by the Dodd-Frank Act, despite having a candidate that many people think is an obvious choice: Daniel K. Tarullo. The new Consumer Financial Products Board chairman is unnamed. There are some lower-level positions that don’t have candidates, including the head of the Treasury’s Office of Financial Research and the Financial Stability Oversight Council insurance post.

Perhaps most important, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, is being headed by an acting comptroller, John Walsh, who took over the agency last August. Nine months have passed without a leader who might better reflect the Obama administration’s views on banking regulation, a time lag made worse by the office’s coddling of the banks even as they have acknowledged rampant abuse and negligence in the foreclosure process.”

You have to love this paragraph:

“Even low-level appointments are now deeply partisan affairs, the playthings of score-settling senators with memories like elephants and the social responsibility of hyenas (which probably insults hyenas).”

My solution? Go a little Seal Team 6 on the Senate minority GOP leadership. Tell them to sit down with the President’s list and hammer out a compromise. The alternative to obstructionism is to pull a page out of George W. Bush playbook and after 2 years of foot dragging, fill the full slate via recess appointments — including Elizabeth Warren as FCIC Chair.

Its time for the kiddies in DC to grow up and behave like adults.


At a Time of Needed Financial Overhaul, a Leadership Vacuum
Jesse Eisinger
ProPublica, May 18, 2011

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