Chairman Sarbanes, Ranking Member Gramm, and Members of the Committee, I am pleased to appear before you today to discuss my nomination to become the Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Financial Institutions.
Before I begin my statement, it might be prudent to introduce my family, since I think it unlikely our 17-month-old daughter, Colleen, is going to make it through the entire hearing. With me today are my husband, Scott Cooper, our 8-year-old son, Preston, Colleen, and our au pair, Urarat Sukahrom. I am very happy that they could all be with me this morning on this special occasion.
I would like to begin my statement by expressing my deep appreciation to President Bush for nominating me for this important position. I am honored by the confidence the White House has shown in me by naming me to this post and I will work hard to justify that confidence. I would also like to thank Secretary O’Neill, Deputy Secretary-Designate Ken Dam, and Under Secretary-Designate Peter Fisher for the support they have provided for my nomination. I look forward to having the privilege of working with them, the rest of the impressive team that the President has assembled, and the well regarded career staff at the Treasury Department.
Next, I would like to thank Senator Dole for his support and help on this nomination, and all the support, advice, and mentoring he has provided me over the past two decades. I know he wanted to be here this morning and wish him a full and speedy recovery from his recent surgery. Working for Senator Dole early in my career, I was able to learn all the best things about being in public service. In the tradition of two other great Kansans, William Allen White and Dwight D. Eisenhower, Senator Dole’s leadership in the Senate reflected the common sense values and pragmatic idealism so steeped in the politics of Middle America. From him, I learned that government has a special obligation to use American taxpayers’ dollars wisely and sparingly, wisdom that will serve me well at the Treasury Department whose job I believe, first and foremost, is to protect taxpayers’ funds from imprudent risk and wasteful expenditure. Senator Dole also taught me, however, that government has a special obligation to help society’s less fortunate and those programs to help the poor and disadvantaged, if carefully targeted and efficiently managed, can constitute a wise and noble use of taxpayer’s funds.
I come to you today with over a decade of experience working in public service, ranging from my first job as a civil rights attorney for the old Department of Health, Education and Welfare, to my five years of service to this august body on the staff of Senator Dole, to over four years as a Commissioner on the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, where I served as Chairman of the CFTC’s Financial Products Advisory Committee. I have nearly 12 years experience working with the financial markets, combining my years at the CFTC, with over seven with the New York Stock Exchange, and five as Senior Vice President for Government Relations. My blend of experiences with the NYSE and CFTC has given me valuable insights into the financial regulatory/policy making process from the perspective of both the regulator and the regulated. It has also given me a broad based understanding of the workings of financial markets and the financial institutions, which participate in them.
My previous experience with financial derivatives and equities will be helpful in dealing with the myriad public policy issues that are arising as traditional lines demarcating banking products from other types of financial products are blurring, and in some cases, disappearing. With financial institutions forging into new product lines and services in the wake of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, the ability of financial regulators and policy makers to coordinate and work together cooperatively is being increasingly challenged, and I hope my background will help me to contribute to the development of comity and consistency in the regulation and oversight of our financial institutions. These are exciting times in the making of financial regulatory policy and once again, let me say how deeply grateful I am to President Bush for giving me this opportunity to return to public service. If confirmed by the Senate, I look forward to working closely with members of this Committee, the House Financial Services Committee and others as together we deal with the dynamic and momentous changes occurring in the delivery of financial services.
Thank you very much. I would be happy to respond to any questions that you might have.
Home | Menu | Links | Info | Chairman's Page