❮ Return to Our Work

Press Release | December 10, 2021

The "Coup" At The FDIC Is Jelena McWilliams Overturning Majority And Congressional Will

Ethics in GovernmentExecutive BranchFinancial RegulationIndependent Agencies

 Max Moran, [email protected]

In response to Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Chair Jelena McWilliams’ attempts to withdraw and disavow a Request For Information put forward by the Democratic majority on the Board of Directors, Revolving Door Project Executive Director Jeff Hauser issued the following statement:

“Reportedly, the FDIC Board conducted a formal written vote between November 26th and December 7th on whether to begin gathering information for a potential update to bank merger review rules. This would mark the first time the FDIC considered how bank mergers threaten financial stability. Chair Jelena McWilliams didn’t even bother to cast her vote. Majority rules, and the majority here ruled 3 – 0 in favor of the FDIC belatedly beginning to fulfill its duty — the Dodd-Frank Act updated the Bank Merger Act to require the FDIC to consider financial stability when weighing bank mergers.”

“In response to this very basic business, McWilliams is directing staff to flout the law and the democratic principles behind the Board’s design. She has deemed this majority vote illegitimate not by citation to the bylaws, but rather because she didn’t like its outcome — a vote in which, again, she did not participate.”

“First of all, the law here is very clear. Nothing requires the Chair to vote for a given proposal in order for it to be legitimate. That’s the whole idea behind having a Board.”

“More importantly, the spirit behind this move is extraordinarily Trumpian and dangerous. McWilliams is effectively saying that any outcome which she doesn’t like must be illegitimate, because she’s the Chair. That’s not how the law works, and it’s not a norm to which anyone who believes in democracy should give credence. Directors Chopra, Gruenberg, and Hsu have done their duty as civil servants and obeyed the letter and spirit behind the FDIC’s design to a T. For Republicans to call their actions a `coup’ just shows how authoritarian Trump’s party has become, and all for the sake of letting big Wall Street banks gobble up their competition uninhibited. Trump’s final holdovers in office should not be allowed to enact the Trumpian agenda of overruling majority rule. McWilliams is wildly out of line, and should be condemned and disregarded.”


Ethics in GovernmentExecutive BranchFinancial RegulationIndependent Agencies

More articles by Max Moran

❮ Return to Our Work