WASHINGTON Senate Banking Committee Chairman Paul Sarbanes announced Wednesday that he has scheduled a June 13 confirmation hearing for Federal Reserve Board Vice Chairman Roger W. Ferguson Jr., who has continued to serve though his term expired in January 2000.
A Clinton appointee who was renominated last year by President Clinton and again in March by President Bush, Mr. Ferguson never got a hearing under Senate Bankings former chairman, Phil Gramm, R-Tex.
Sen. Sarbanes also is expected to hold a hearing June 20 for bank and thrift regulators to discuss the current state of the industry and the agencies, sources said Wednesday.
The oversight hearing will probably cover a range of topics important to the regulators.
One subject almost certain to come up is deposit insurance reform. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. is expected to discuss its recommendations for reform issued in April. This would be the agencys first opportunity to raise its ideas in the Senate, which as recently as two weeks ago had seemed unlikely to address the issue this year.
But the shift of Senate power to the Democrats, which took effect Tuesday night, has improved the chances for deposit insurance reform though it is still far from a sure thing, sources said.
The FDICs recommendations included charging the entire industry premiums again, capping the federal reserve funds and rebating some of the excess back to the industry, and indexing the coverage level per account to inflation.
This type of oversight hearing was held annually until 1997.
Though a spokesman for Sen. Sarbanes declined to comment on the hearing, the Maryland Democrat told reporters two weeks ago that holding oversight hearings for the federal banking and thrift agencies would be one of his top priorities.