Chairman Tim Johnson of South Dakota gaveled another Dodd-Frank oversight hearing by noting significant progress has been achieved but much more work on key parts of the regulatory process remains to be completed. “This is the time when tough decisions have to be made by our regulators,” Johnson noted.
Ranking Republican Richard Shelby of Alabama went directly to political messaging and faulted the Commodity Futures Trading Commission for its inability to move more aggressively to prevent losses at MF Global. He chastised the Securities and Exchange Commission for its recent judicial setbacks in civil settlements and rulemaking. Finally, Shelby blamed Democrats for refusing to negotiate on the GOP’s plan to restructure the leadership of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
The witnesses for the hearing included Neal Wolin, Treasury deputy secretary, Daniel Tarullo, Federal Reserve Board member, Mary Schapiro, chairwoman of the SEC, Gary Gensler, chairman of the CFTC, Marty Gruenberg, acting chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and John Walsh, acting comptroller of the currency.
Democrats on the panel asked questions about the pace of the regulatory progress and inquired about the lack of the funding would have on their ability to enforce the Dodd-Frank. Republicans were primarily interested in Gesner’s decision to recuse himself on investigation of the MF Global collapse. Senators Shelby, Bob Corker of Tennessee and Jerry Moran of Kansas all took issue with Gensler’s claim that, while he was not required to stand aside, he believed he would be a “distraction” to his colleagues. Republican Senators claimed he was ducking his responsibilities as the head of the CFTC, though GOP Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa first suggested Gensler rescue himself.