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JOHNSON STATEMENT ON FED, FDIC, OFR, AND TARP NOMINATIONS

March 20, 2012

WASHINGTON – Today, Senate Banking Committee Chairman Tim Johnson (D-SD) held a hearing to consider the nominations of: Mr. Jerome Powell and Dr. Jeremy Stein, to be members of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System; Mr. Jeremiah Norton, to be a member of the Board of Directors of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation; Dr. Richard Berner, to be Director of the Office of Financial Research; and Ms. Christy Romero, to be Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program. 
 
A vote on the nominees will be scheduled for a later date.
 
Below is Chairman Johnson’s statement as prepared for delivery:
 
“Thanks to all of our nominees for joining us here today.  I also extend a warm welcome to our nominees’ families and friends who are here with us.
 
“Today we consider five nominees, each of whom is individually accomplished.  These nominees, if confirmed, will have important responsibilities for our nation’s economy, setting monetary policy; supervising and regulating some of our largest and most complex financial institutions; continuing to ensure the proper use of TARP funds; and providing policymakers and regulators with meaningful data to safeguard our financial system. 
 
“We need strong leadership in these posts to solidify our nation’s economic recovery and to help prevent another financial crisis.   I am glad the President has sent us five well-qualified individuals to fill vacancies at the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the newly created Office of Financial Research, and the Special Inspector General of the Troubled Asset Relief Program. 
 
“We will now proceed to witness introductions.
 
“Jerome Powell has been nominated to serve as a Governor on the Federal Reserve Board.  Mr. Powell is currently a visiting scholar at the Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington, D.C., where he focuses on federal and state fiscal issues.  Mr. Powell previously served as Under Secretary of the Treasury for Finance under President George H.W. Bush. 
 
“Jeremy Stein is also a nominee to serve on the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve.  Professor Stein has a long and distinguished academic career, teaching economics for more than a decade in his current position at Harvard, and another decade before that teaching finance at M.I.T. 
 
“Jeremiah Norton has been nominated to be a member of the Board at the FDIC. Mr. Norton is currently the Executive Director of J.P. Morgan Securities.  From 2007 to 2009, Mr. Norton served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Financial Institutions Policy at the Department of the Treasury.  Before that, Mr. Norton served on the legislative staff of Representative Ed Royce. 
 
“Richard Berner currently serves as Counselor in the Office of Research and Quantitative Studies at the Department of the Treasury. Dr. Berner was a member of, among others, the Economic Advisory Panel of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the Panel of Economic Advisers of the Congressional Budget Office, and the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors of the National Bureau of Economic Research.
 
“Christy Romero has been nominated to be the Special Inspector General for TARP.  She has served as the Deputy Special Inspector General since February 2011, and as the Chief of Staff at SIG-TARP before that.  Ranking Member Shelby and I sent a letter to the President last year, asking him to nominate a “strong watchdog” who “will be fully focused on protecting taxpayers in the administration of TARP.”  I believe the President has done that in nominating Ms. Romero, a person who brings years of experience from the S.E.C. investigating financial fraud and insider trading.
 
“Congratulations to all of you on your nominations.”
 
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