Biden Administration Close To Naming Christy Goldsmith Romero To Oversee FDIC Amid Agency's Turmoil: Report

In a bid to restore stability to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp, the White House is considering Christy Goldsmith Romero, a regulator with experience in financial crisis management, to head the agency.

What Happened: The White House is reportedly close to naming Christy Goldsmith Romero as the new head of the FDIC, replacing the current chairman, Martin Gruenberg, who is set to resign, reported The Wall Street Journal on Monday, citing people familiar with the matter.

Gruenberg’s resignation comes in the wake of a scandal involving widespread sexual harassment and other misconduct at the agency.

Goldsmith Romero, a Democratic member of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, is being considered for her management experience and her track record as a reformer during her tenure as the TARP special inspector general at the Treasury Department.

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If confirmed, Goldsmith Romero will be tasked with overseeing a cultural overhaul at the FDIC, which has been rocked by reports of misconduct, including examiners visiting brothels on work trips and women facing lewd comments from supervisors, according to the report.

Why It Matters: The resignation of Martin Gruenberg follows a series of troubling revelations about the FDIC’s internal culture. A report from early May, highlighted widespread sexual harassment within the agency, leading to Gruenberg’s decision to step down. This came after mounting pressure from both Democratic and Republican lawmakers.

In March 2023, Gruenberg had already been under scrutiny for his handling of financial risks. He had warned about over $600 billion in unrealized losses in the banking system just days before the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank. This collapse triggered a significant response from regulators to stabilize the financial system.

In addition, Gruenberg faced intense questioning from the Senate Banking Committee in 2023, following the collapse of SVB and Signature Bank. During the hearing, he, along with other regulators, attempted to reassure the public about the soundness of the banking system. This was the largest banking collapse since the 2008 financial crisis.

Despite these challenges, some prominent figures, including Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), had supported Gruenberg amid the allegations of a toxic workplace. However, the pressure eventually proved too much, leading to his resignation.

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This story was generated using Benzinga Neuro and edited by Kaustubh Bagalkote

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