‘My kind of gal’: Warren backs Biden FDIC nominee

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) threw her support behind Christy Goldsmith Romero to lead the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) after President Biden announced Thursday he would nominate Romero, a member of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), to replace outgoing Chair Martin Gruenberg.

“She is exactly what the FDIC needs,” Warren told reporters Thursday at Capitol Hill.

“She’s a strong independent woman. Bankers may not love her,” Warren added, noting Romero’s prior experience as inspector general for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), the hundreds of billions in bailouts given to big banks amid the financial crisis and recession of 2007-08.

“She has the kind of independence that we want from regulators,” Warren said. “She doesn’t constantly look over her shoulder to see who’s got money or influence. She does what the law tells her to do and she does it without fear or favor — my kind of gal.”

As the special inspector general for TARP, Romero oversaw 406 criminal charges brought against people in the financial industry, according to a 2017 report to Congress. This included 55 bankers, one trader, 68 bank borrowers and 83 “homeowner scammers.”

Romero’s nomination from the White House comes after Gruenberg announced last month that he intended to resign as FDIC chair following a series of bombshell reports last year from The Wall Street Journal that detailed a toxic workplace culture rife with sexual harassment, misconduct and retaliation at the agency under his leadership.

Gruenberg, a Democrat who was nominated by Biden in 2023, had served on the FDIC board since 2005, eventually bowing to pressure from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to step down from his role once a successor was confirmed by the Senate. This has since left several of the administration’s banking regulations — including a controversial set of international banking regulations known as Basel III Endgame — in limbo.

While the Senate will need to confirm Romero’s nomination, Warren expressed confidence that she will have the support of Democrats who currently hold a majority in the Senate.

The Massachusetts senator has been an outspoken critic of big banks, calling for major reforms to the banking system, including raising the FDIC cap and cracking down on bank mergers.

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