National Credit Union Administration Head Mark McWatters Voted to Loosen Regulations on AIG While Failing to Disclose Stock Holdings
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Politico broke the news that Mark McWatters, one of the men on Trump’s short list to become director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), apparently violated ethics rules when he voted to lift regulations on AIG while failing to disclose his personal investments in the company. McWatters is head of the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA). From Politico:
“The Financial Stability Oversight Council, a panel of regulatory heads that is chaired by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, decided in a 6-3 vote in September that AIG should no longer be considered ‘systemically important.’ That move ended Federal Reserve scrutiny of the company, which was imposed after the government rescued AIG from near collapse during the financial crisis.
“Mark McWatters, who chairs the National Credit Union Administration, helped provide the two-thirds vote AIG needed to escape Fed supervision. But his financial disclosure form suggests that a recusal would have been more appropriate because of certain assets McWatters held in AIG, an oversight he now seems to acknowledge.”
This isn’t the first blowback McWatters has faced since it was reported he is being considered for the top slot at the CFPB. A story on the right-wing website Breitbart dissed McWatters and the CEO of the Independent Community Bankers of America wrote an op-ed critical of his potential nomination.
“This reflects poorly on McWatters’ judgement and fitness to potentially lead an agency like the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau that is responsible for overseeing major financial institutions and looking out for the best interests of consumers. What McWatters did was reckless and wrong,” said Karl Frisch, executive director of Allied Progress.
He continued, “The fact that President Trump would consider someone for this post who has so many professional short-comings further demonstrates how little this administration cares about protecting consumers – their real focus is on enriching big banks and Wall Street special interests.”
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