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US Senate approves Trump’s pick as Fed regulatory chief


By Agence France-Presse

The US Senate on Thursday approved the nomination of investor Randal Quarles as a Federal Reserve Board governor in charge of banking oversight.

Quarles, 60, who served as undersecretary of the Treasury under former President George W Bush and previously worked in private equity, was confirmed by a vote of 65 to 32.

Randal Quarles (Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg / MANILA BULLETIN)

Randal Quarles
(Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg / MANILA BULLETIN)

As a Fed governor, he will also sit on the Federal Open Market Committee, which sets US monetary policy.

As President Donald Trump’s first Fed nominee, Quarles will oversee banking regulation at a time when the White House has sought to scrap many of the rules put in place following the 2008 financial meltdown.

The position was created in as part of Wall Street reforms enacted in 2010 but was never officially filled. Former Fed Governor Daniel Tarullo, who stepped down earlier this year, had instead held responsibility for financial oversight.

Quarles has been critical of the regulatory burden imposed on larger banks deemed “too big to fail,” or so important to the financial system their failure would endanger the broader economy.

In particular, Quarles wrote in 2016 that raising banking reserve requirements was tantamount to raising the cost of borrowing.

With next week’s departure of Fed Vice Chair Stanley Fischer, Trump will have three vacancies to fill at the central bank.

The Fed offered no reaction on Thursday to Quarles nomination. But in a news conference last month, Fed Chair Janet Yellen said she had had good interactions with Quarles and hoped he would be confirmed.

“I think it’s very important to have a broad range of views around the table as we deliberate on policy actions,” Yellen said.

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