Senate Banking Committee Holds Hearing for Fed, SEC Nominees

The Senate Banking Committee held a hearing to examine the nominations of Michael Barr to serve as the Federal Reserve Vice-Chair for Supervision, Jaime Lizárraga to serve as a Commissioner at the SEC, and Mark Uyeda to serve as a Commissioner at the SEC. Both SEC nominees answered questions on comment period length, improving access to capital, social media market manipulation, diversity, and supporting competition among small and large investment firms. In a question posed by Senator Elizabeth Warren comparing disclosures by stablecoin issuers to the disclosures of money market funds, Lizarraga noted the SEC requires money market funds to “disclose their assets and to have those disclosures audited by independent third parties.” He noted the same is not required of stablecoin issuers.

Barr received the majority of questions which focused on inflation, independence of the Federal Reserve, as well as climate change/ESG issues. On climate change, Barr noted “Fed authority is important but limited,” adding the Fed is not in the position to allocate credit and should not be in the business of telling financial institutions who they should lend to. He did add, however, that it is important to consider climate risks to the financial system, and that markets “need a consistent risk management framework.”

SEC nominees Lizárraga and Uyeda are likely to be paired together for a Senate floor vote at some point in June or July. Barr’s nomination is likely to be advanced by the full Senate although the timeframe remains uncertain.