WASHINGTON — Having successfully ushered Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke's troubled confirmation through the Senate, the Obama administration must soon consider how best to fill other key financial regulatory positions.

By August there will likely be no permanent leader at three regulatory agencies: the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Federal Housing Finance Agency and the Office of Thrift Supervision. At a time when regulators are under intense pressure to toughen oversight of markets and the future of their agencies is unclear, the lack of leadership could have a cost.

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