President Joe Biden has the opportunity to force profound changes on the American corporate sector, and efforts in this direction will take a big step forward on Tuesday morning, when his picks to lead the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau will participate in confirmation hearings before the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee.
Gary Gensler, Biden’s choice to lead the SEC and Rohit Chopra, his pick for the CFPB, are darlings of the progressive wing of the Democratic Party, lauded for their willingness to impose tough regulations on financial services firms.
Gensler made his name early in President Barack Obama’s administration, when he helped craft the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill and showed his willingness to implement sweeping new regulations in the face of fierce industry opposition.
In his prepared testimony, Gensler promised, if confirmed to the post, that he would “strengthen transparency and accountability in our markets,” while “promoting efficiency and competition.” He also plans to “make sure companies — incumbents and entrepreneurial startups alike — can raise needed capital to innovate, expand their operations and contribute to economic growth.”
Meanwhile, Chopra’s history as an Elizabeth Warren ally at the CFPB and the Federal Trade Commission reflects his enthusiasm for aggressive government oversight of business.