For a guy with a well-deserved reputation for impetuosity, President Trump sure gets deliberate when it comes to formally nominating people to one of the 500-plus jobs he has to fill requiring Senate approval. In almost six very, very long months that he’s been president, he’s only gotten around to picking 176 nominees for 564 posts.
Some of this is out of his control: It can be hard to find good people, or any people, for some of the jobs, and only some of them are steering clear of a date on Capitol Hill to avoid the Trump stink following them for the rest of their lives. Perhaps slow-playing the nomination game is Trump’s cagey way of quietly dismantling the “deep state.” Perhaps Gary Cohn and Steve Bannon are practically getting into a fistfight outside the Oval Office ‘round the time nomination forms are to be signed. Perhaps keeping the president’s attention between making a choice and then actually nominating that person is all-but-impossible. Whatever the case may be, Randal Quarles has been Trump’s choice to become the first Fed vice chair for supervision (See? Obama could be a little tardy with the appointments, too) for three months now. Everyone knows it except for secretary of the Senate, who hasn’t seen a piece of paper with Quarles’ name and a 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue return address cross her desk yet. But she might! Soon! Maybe.
The choice of Mr. Quarles, expected for months and confirmed by a White House official Monday, would put a more industry-friendly voice in perhaps the most powerful U.S. bank-regulatory post: Fed vice chair of supervision….
Top White House officials had identified the vice chair post as a priority weeks after Mr. Trump’s election last year, and after an extended search process, officials identified Mr. Quarles as their top pick in April. At the time, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin had indicated a nominee for the post was imminent.
Should Trump ever get around to actually signing Quarles’ nomination, here are a few things about him that you can be sure are making Elizabeth Warren very angry about it.
He has criticized the Fed’s policy of keeping interest rates near zero for years following the financial crisis, and advocated for a monetary-policy rule, or formula, to guide rate decisions….
Mr. Quarles, in a March 2016 Wall Street Journal op-ed that he co-wrote, said he didn’t support “arbitrarily taking an ax to big banks and irreparably damaging the economy.” He endorsed a review of postcrisis regulations but warned that “the consequence of a dramatic increase in bank capital is an increase in the cost of bank credit.”
On the other hand, it could be—and has been—worse.
Analysts and government officials have said nominating Mr. Quarles, an establishment Republican, would be a sign that the White House favors more incremental rather than radical changes to the Fed, an institution that has long engendered mistrust among the economic nationalists who backed Mr. Trump during his campaign last year….
The choice of Mr. Quarles “shows that we’re looking for a change to the heavy-handed approach to regulation from the prior administration,” the White House official said Monday. Mr. Quarles, the official said, “has a track record of working well with others to implement public policy.”