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Elizabeth Warren circled the wagons around embattled FDIC chief Martin Gruenberg

An investigation by law firm Cleary Gottlieb revealed an agency rife with sexual harassment, bullying and discrimination, where complaints were ignored and violators went unpunished. The results put pressure on Gruenberg, who has been with the FDIC since 2005, as chairman and board member. The report found that Gruenberg contributed to a culture of bullying and that his subordinates, fearing reprimand, were reluctant to bring him bad information.

This information breakdown has led some critics to link Gruenberg’s character to the FDIC’s failures last spring, when three regional banks failed and the agency was slow to seize them, sparking concerns about a contagion which forced the government to guarantee deposits in two of these banks. . Republican members of Congress and at least one Democrat have called on him to resign.

But Gruenberg, a progressive who has imposed tougher rules on Wall Street throughout his career, is key to a financial regulation agenda that includes requiring banks to hold more capital, limiting bonuses and to intensify merger reviews. If he were to be forced from his role, the FDIC would be paralyzed, split evenly between Democratic and Republican board members and led at least temporarily by a Republican, Travis Hill.

“There’s a lot of blame to go around,” said Dennis Kelleher of the progressive think tank Better Markets. “It’s outrageous, but attacking only the Democrat, with the inevitable consequence of blocking this important work, is clearly partisan politics.”

(In good news for Warren, the Supreme Court this morning rejected a constitutional challenge that would have dismantled or gutted the CFPB. Warren first proposed the idea of ​​a consumer-focused financial regulator in 2007, when she was a professor at Harvard and was appointed by former President Barack Obama to create the agency after the global financial crisis.)

News Source : www.semafor.com
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