Bush Swears In Taylor as FDIC Head

WASHINGTON - President Bush on Thursday swore in William Taylor as chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. The President took the occasion to say he was growing impatient with Senate delays in confirming other key bank regulators.

"For all his talent and integrity, Bill Taylor won't be able to do his work to the fullest until his teammates are in place," the President said at a ceremony before about 200 guests, including senior banking regulators and industry officials.

The President placed Comptroller of the Currency Robert L. Clarke at the top of the list of "vital members of the bank regulation team" whose appointments have been held up by a Senate confirmation process that he termed "archaic."

Still Waiting

In his first public expression of frustration on the nomination, the President noted that Mr. Clarke's appointment to a second term as comptroller has been stalled before the Senate Banking Committee for nine months.

He also singled out two pending Federal Reserve Board nominations: those of Alan Greenspan to a second four-year term as Fed chairman and Lawrence Lindsay to a term as a governor. The Senate Banking Committee has scheduled Mr. Greenspan for a confirmation hearing on Nov. 19.

President Bush's criticism may not have reached its intended target. Senate Banking Committee Chairman Donald W. Riegle, D-Mich., was invited to the ceremony, but did not attend.

Also absent was House Banking Committee Chairman Henry B. Gonzalez, D-Tex. His compromise with Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich., over bank powers legislation drew barbs from the President. The measure, which rolls back bank insurance and securities powers in many states, was being debated on the House floor during the ceremony.

"Incredible as it seems, some in Congress are trying to move banking laws backwards to make our banks even less competitive in the global marketplace," President Bush said. "Nothing will stop me from fighting on principle for real bank reform to get our economy moving."

"While the rest of the world forges ahead, our banks and businesses bear the dead weight of banking laws enacted half a century ago," the President said.

Mr. Taylor responded by saying he will "seek the goal of a strong and safe banking system capable of soundly based risk-taking to support a strong and vibrant economy."

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.