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White House Nominates Christy Goldsmith Romero to Lead FDIC

 |  June 13, 2024

The White House announced its nomination of Christy Goldsmith Romero to head the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC). This decision follows a recent investigation uncovering credible allegations of harassment and discrimination within the bank regulator.

Goldsmith Romero, currently a Democratic commissioner at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) since 2022, is set to take on the challenging task of overhauling the workplace culture at the FDIC. The agency, crucial for managing bank failures and ensuring financial stability, has been under scrutiny following a report by the law firm Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton. Released in May, the report detailed a toxic environment at the regulator, prompting the current FDIC chair, Martin Gruenberg, to announce his resignation pending Senate confirmation of his successor.

This FDIC nomination marks a notable promotion for Goldsmith Romero, who has a distinguished background in financial oversight. Before her tenure at the CFTC, she led the government oversight of the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) and held senior roles at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Her new role at the FDIC will also involve playing a crucial part in finalizing U.S. regulations requiring Wall Street banks to maintain higher capital reserves, a significant aspect of the nation’s financial regulatory framework.

The political landscape surrounding this nomination is further complicated by additional announcements from the Biden administration. Kristin Johnson, another Democratic commissioner at the CFTC, is set to be nominated for a top position at the U.S. Treasury Department overseeing banks. Johnson’s departure without a replacement could temporarily shift the balance of power at the CFTC, potentially giving Republicans a majority and complicating the regulatory agenda of the current chairman, Rostin Behnam.

In another related move, the White House revealed plans to nominate Caroline Crenshaw for another term as a commissioner at the SEC. Crenshaw, also a Democrat, has served in this role since 2020, and her reappointment signifies continuity in the SEC’s approach to financial regulation.

Source: Bloomberg