Home > 2011 > Personal Finance > Fired! Obama Replaces His In-House Critic on Financial Reform

Fired! Obama Replaces His In-House Critic on Financial Reform

Advertiser Disclosure Comments 0 Comments

You can diss your boss in public only so many times before he becomes your former boss. John Walsh, acting director of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, learned that lesson the hard way on Friday after President Obama nominated a different bank regulator, Thomas J. Curry, to take over leadership of the agency.

As regular remembers may remember, John Walsh first criticized the Obama administration’s record on financial reform in May, when he told members of the Financial Services Roundtable that newly-passed laws could hit the industry like a “tsunami.”

[Related Article: Bank Regulator: We Passed Too Many Bank Regulations!]

The following month Walsh did it again, this time in a foreign country. Speaking in London before the Centre for the Study of Financial Innovation, Walsh said:

“To put it plainly, my view is that we are in danger of trying to squeeze too much risk and complexity out of banking as we institute reforms to address problems and abuses stemming from the last crisis.”

It’s virtually unheard-of for a member of a president’s own administration to criticize the president, especially on such prominent piece of legislation. Congressional Democrats blasted Walsh for drawing the wrong conclusions from the 2007 financial crisis, and urged President Obama to replace him. Walsh has served as acting director of the comptroller’s office—the lead federal regulator of most large banks—for almost a year.

[Related Article: Anti-Regulation Bank Regulator Draws Democrats’ Ire]

“It is time—way past time—for the President to nominate a leader for the OCC who is committed to building a solid long-term foundation for our economy,” Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) said in a press release.

Apparently the president agreed. On Friday he nominated Curry, a former bank regulator in Massachusetts and now a member of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation’s board, to replace Walsh.

Image: Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, via Wikimedia Commons

Comments on articles and responses to those comments are not provided or commissioned by a bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by a bank advertiser. It is not a bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Please note that our comments are moderated, so it may take a little time before you see them on the page. Thanks for your patience.

Certain credit cards and other financial products mentioned in this and other articles on Credit.com News & Advice may also be offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com will be compensated if our users apply for and ultimately sign up for any of these cards or products. However, this relationship does not result in any preferential editorial treatment.