Trump Bank Regulatory Pick Liked by Banks

By Lawler, Joseph | Examiner (Washington, D.C.), The, June 19, 2017 | Go to article overview

Trump Bank Regulatory Pick Liked by Banks


Lawler, Joseph, Examiner (Washington, D.C.), The


Banks are pleased with President Trump's selection of House Republican staffer James Clinger to oversee banks, seeing him as a "pro's pro" and experienced policy hand. The pick could also excite conservatives seeking to limit the government's ability to rescue banks.

Clinger, previously counsel for the Republican-led House Financial Services Committee, was officially nominated Monday night to chair the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the agency charged with administering the system of insurance for bank deposits and overseeing banks.

Clinger, the son of a former Republican congressman, doesn't have much of a public profile. But lobbyists and former staffers describe him as a deeply experienced staffer who has worked on every major piece of financial legislation over the past two decades, serving under four Republican heads of the Financial Services Committee.

And when it comes to carrying out one of the FDIC's major new responsibilities, namely leading the government mechanism for taking over and safely liquidating a failing megabank, one former co-staffer described Clinger as the perfect candidate.

The 2010 Dodd-Frank reform law empowered the government to appoint the FDIC to carry out the liquidation of teetering bank under what is known as Orderly Liquidation Authority, a process that also can include an infusion of Treasury funds to temporarily prevent a collapse.

The government didn't have that power in the financial crisis, when the disorderly collapse of big financial firms such as the investment bank Lehman Bros. threatened the economy. Granting it has proved controversial.

In April, Trump signed a memo requiring a Treasury review of orderly liquidation authority to determine whether it might hurt the economy. Congressional Republicans have argued that it amounts to a promise to bail out failing megabanks, and have sought to repeal it, including in a legislative package the House of Representatives passed this month authored by Jeb Hensarling, the committee's conservative chairman.

Peter Haller, a former committee staffer with Clinger, said that Clinger is "such a talented strategist that he will find the path to minimize government bailouts and achieve the FDIC's mandate without burdening the taxpayer."

While conservatives concerned about the possibility of bailouts have criticized the creation of the government mechanism for taking over failing big banks, Wall Street favors keeping it in place. …

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