Wall Street knows tougher scrutiny is close at hand with Biden picks

The Wall Street Journal has been sounding the clarion call of alarm on behalf of big business and the super wealthy.  Why such blaring of the trumpets of doom?

What most upends Wall Street is that an aide to Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a  thorn in the side of business, is seeing one of her former aides headed to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.  The CFPB was created after the meltdown of 2008 to monitor big business and Wall Street has reviled this agency since its inception.

The Biden Administration is actually putting regulators in place who will actually do the job of Regulators.  

What’s that?  Regulate.

Wall Street Journal 3.11.2021

WASHINGTON—President Biden’s nominee to oversee Wall Street firms and public companies, Gary Gensler, (pictured above) cleared a key hurdle to Senate confirmation, garnering support from two Republicans in a vote Wednesday.

The Senate Banking Committee voted 14-10 in favor of sending Mr. Gensler’s nomination for chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission to the Senate floor for confirmation. Republican Senators Mike Rounds of South Dakota and Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming joined all 12 Democrats in supporting the nomination.

The committee also voted 12-12 along partisan lines to advance the nomination of Rohit Chopra, who was tapped by Mr. Biden to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. A tie vote can advance to the Senate floor via a motion by the majority leader.

Mr. Chopra, a onetime aide to Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.), publicly took on student-loan companies while serving at the CFPB during the Obama administration. He currently serves on the Federal Trade Commission.

Rohit Chopra 3.11.2021.jpg

Rohit ChopraConsumer Financial Protection Bureau nominee

The CFPB has been a flashpoint between Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill. Set up during the Obama administration in response to lending practices that contributed to the 2008 financial crisis, the bureau has been accused by Republicans and some in the financial-services industry of regulatory overreach.

“Based on Commissioner Chopra’s record, I’m deeply concerned that he’d return the CFPB to the hyperactive, lawbreaking, antibusiness, unaccountable agency it was under the Obama administration,” said Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, the senior Republican on the committee.

The Biden administration’s appointees are expected to take a tougher approach to regulating and policing banks, asset managers and entities seeking to raise money from public investors. With razor-thin majorities in Congress, Democrats are seeking to leverage the power of regulatory agencies to advance domestic-policy priorities such as combating climate change and fighting racial inequality.

“They both have a strong record of protecting American families, promoting competitive markets and holding bad actors accountable,” Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown, the Democratic chairman of the banking panel, said ahead of the vote.

During a nomination hearing last week, Mr. Gensler raised concerns about the business model of some online brokers involved in the GameStop Corp. trading frenzy. He also pushed back against suggestions by some Republican lawmakers that the SEC shouldn’t require public companies to provide more expansive disclosures about environmental and social issues.

Mr. Gensler, a former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. banker, faced off against the financial industry during a 2009-14 stint as chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. There, he implemented dozens of new rules to govern trading in trillions of dollars in derivatives, which contributed to the financial crisis of 2008-09.

He also dealt with the big banks at the CFTC when he oversaw enforcement actions against lenders accused of manipulating a key interest rate known as Libor.