President Obama has nominated S. Roy Woodall, who recently retired from the Treasury Department as a senior policy analyst, to serve on the Federal Stability Oversight Council (FSOC). Woodall is also a former insurance commissioner for Kentucky and an insurance consultant for the Congressional Research Service.
The Dodd-Frank Act established the council, which brings together top regulators to identify and respond to system risks posed by large, interconnected bank holding companies and non-bank financial companies. The FSOC has broad oversight authority to help alleviate the issue of too-big-to-fail institutions in the United States.
In addition, the FSOC has veto power over the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Under Dodd-Frank, a vote by two-thirds of the voting members of the FSOC can override a CFPB regulation. (Wisconsin Congressman Sean Duffy has introduced an amendmentto Dodd-Frank that would require a simple majority vote, rather than two-thirds, to overturn a CFPB regulation and would require the CFPB director to abstain from voting.)
If confirmed by the Senate, Woodall will serve a six-year term. The position is the only voting member on the council appointed by the President; the others seats are reserved specifically for the chief regulators at nine regulatory agencies.
According to The Hill, “lawmakers had asked the president for months to fill the seat now reserved for Woodall, as it was the only voting spot reserved for an insurance perspective.”
Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner serves as chair of the FSOC, which is comprised of 10 voting members – nine federal financial regulatory agencies and an independent member with insurance expertise – and five nonvoting members.
Tim Geithner, secretary of the U.S. Treasury Department
Ben Bernanke, chairman of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors
John Walsh, acting Comptroller of the Currency (Editor’s note: Thomas Curry has been nominated Comptroller of the Currency and awaits Senate confirmation.)
Mary Schapiro, chairwoman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
Sheila Bair, chairwoman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (Editor’s note: Bair’s term expires July 8; Martin Gruenberg has been nominated to be the new FDIC chairman.)
Gary Gensler, chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission
Edward J. DeMarco, acting Director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency
Debbie Matz, chairwoman of the National Credit Union Administration
Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
Director of the Office of Financial Research, who has not yet been named
Michael McRaith, director of the Federal Insurance Office
John M. Huff, director of the Missouri Department of Insurance, Financial Institutions, and Professional Registration
William S. Haraf, commissioner of the California Department of Financial Institutions
David S. Massey, deputy Securities Administrator of the North Carolina Department of the Secretary of State, Securities Division
A major change to this line up is possible, should Geithner follow through on speculation that he will leave Treasury. According to the Wall Street Journal on July 1, Geithner has told Obama that he will consider stepping down soon after policy makers agree to raise the government’s borrowing limit, which has a deadline of Aug. 2.
If no director is appointed and confirmed for the CFPB, the Treasury secretary takes on the role of running the bureau.
More details about the FSOC can be found in a list of frequently asked questions and minutes from past meetings are available on the Treasury web site.