White House Nominates ‘Dissenter’ For FDIC Post

The White House has sent to the Senate President Obama's nomination of Thomas Hoenig to be vice chairperson of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) board of directors. If confirmed by the Senate, Hoenig's term would run through Dec. 12, 2015.

Hoenig retired as president of Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City on Oct. 1, a position that he held for two decades.

As a member of the Federal Open Markets Committee (FOMC), Hoenig dissented from some of the committee's decisions to make monetary policy more accommodative. He objected to the Federal Reserve's second round of quantitative easing, which included $600 billion worth of Treasury bond purchases, and he spoke out against the Fed keeping the federal funds rate near zero.

In a speech earlier this year, Hoenig spoke on the importance of dissenting views in policy making.

‘It is important to recognize that in the face of uncertainty, arriving at the best policy decision is built on divergent opinions and vigorous debate,’ Hoenig said. ‘Because of this, the role of open dissent is at least as critical to FOMC monetary policy decisions as it is to deliberations by the Supreme Court, the U.S. Congress or any other body with important public responsibilities, from the local level through the federal level.’

If approved as vice chairperson, Hoenig would replace Martin J. Gruenberg, whom Obama has nominated as FDIC chairperson.

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