Politics & MoneyMortgage

Trump set to tap Randal Quarles as the new “most powerful man in banking”

Fills role after Daniel Tarullo stepped down

The White House confirmed that President Donald Trump is set to finally nominate someone to the most powerful position in banking: Fed vice chair of supervision. According to an article in The Wall Street Journal by Ryan Tracy, Kate Davidson and Nick Timiraos, Trump is nominating Randal Quarles, an investment-fund manager and former Republican Treasury official, to be the central bank’s top official in charge of regulating big banks.

The move would fill a Fed seat that’s been vacant since 2010 since the Obama administration never filled the position, the article explained.

The Wall Street Journal originally reported back in April that the Trump administration was looking at Quarles to fill the position after Daniel Tarullo stepped down as a member of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. Tarullo was filling in the vice chair of supervision role de facto.

Many considered Tarullo to be the Federal Reserve’s point man on overhauling the financial system.

Tarullo shocked many in the industry when he announced his resignation in February. Tarullo joined the Fed Board on Jan. 28, 2009, and his term wasn’t set to expire until 2022.

But Tarullo officially stepped down from that role last April, leaving Trump with the chance to reshape the Fed’s regulatory agenda.

From The Wall Street Journal:

If confirmed by the Senate, Mr. Quarles would take a lead role in carrying out the Trump administration’s goal of rethinking many financial regulations adopted during the Obama era.

Mr. Quarles would also weigh in on monetary policy as one of seven members of the Fed’s board of governors, now short-staffed with only four members. His views in that sphere could put him at odds with his new colleagues, notably because he has criticized the Fed’s policy of keeping interest rates near zero for years following the financial crisis, and advocated for a monetary-policy rule, or formula, to guide rate decisions.

Plus, the nomination once again signals to the industry that the Trump administration is serious about regulation. From the article:

The choice of Mr. Quarles “shows that we’re looking for a change to the heavy-handed approach to regulation from the prior administration,” the White House official said Monday. Mr. Quarles, the official said, “has a track record of working well with others to implement public policy.”

The White House expected Mr. Quarles’s nomination to receive broad Republican support. He needs a simple majority to be approved by the Senate, where Republicans control 52 out of 100 seats.

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