AFR Statement: Quarles represents failed policies of the past

“The nomination of Randy Quarles for vice-chair of supervision represents a step back into the past, not a step forward toward a better regulated financial system. The vice-chair plays a critical role in the oversight of the largest Wall Street banks. Indeed, this is perhaps the crucial post in the entire financial regulatory system for protecting the public against the risk of another Wall Street crash and possible bailout.

Yet Mr. Quarles was part of the regulatory team at the Bush Treasury Department that missed the oncoming 2008 financial crisis and failed to take any effective action to stop that crisis. Mr. Quarles did not take action or speak up against Wall Street excesses in advance of the 2008 crisis. Since the crisis he has made his opposition clear to strong regulatory action to prevent the re-emergence of the same risks in the future. For example, he has opposed the Volcker Rule, which is designed to prevent the re-emergence of hedge-fund like speculation at our largest banks, as well as stronger capital requirements for big banks.

The American people need and deserve better in this critical post than a nominee who represents the failed policies of the past. Congress should question Mr. Quarles closely concerning what exactly he has learned from his experience as part of the team of Bush era regulators that failed to spot emerging risks and take action to stop the 2008 crisis, and whether he is willing to take a stand today against a deregulatory Wall Street agenda that creates the risk of similar disasters in the future.”