Financial Planning > Behavioral Finance

Fed’s Tarullo to Step Down as Top Regulator of Wall Street Banks

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Daniel Tarullo, the Federal Reserve official who spearheaded the U.S. government’s aggressive push to make banks safer after the 2008 financial crisis, plans to step down in early April.

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As the Fed governor who oversaw the regulation of Wall Street, Tarullo often took the lead in implementing new rules and in defending the government’s response to the crisis before Congress. He earned a reputation as one of the toughest supervisors of banking. The industry may welcome the arrival of whomever President Donald Trump puts in charge of banking supervision.

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“Dan led the Fed’s work to craft a new framework for ensuring the safety and soundness of our financial system following the financial crisis and made invaluable contributions across the entire range of the Fed’s responsibilities,” Fed Chair Janet Yellen said in a Friday statement.

Tarullo, 64, is leaving well short of the 2022 end of his term. His time on the Fed board was marked by one of the busiest periods in the central bank’s history, with massive demands from the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act to overhaul the U.S. financial system in an effort to prevent a repeat of the 2008 meltdown. The Fed and other agencies put sweeping capital, liquidity and risk-dampening rules in place that have profoundly changed how banks do business.

‘Great Privilege’

In his tenure at the Fed, the longtime professor was well known for delivering lengthy speeches that were heavy on theory and footnotes. And when it came to interagency work on regulating, he was reliably hard on the biggest Wall Street firms, especially in demanding that megabanks maintain ample war chests of capital and easy-to-sell assets so they’d never again come knocking on taxpayers’ doors.

In a two-sentence resignation letter Friday to Trump, Tarullo said that it has been “a great privilege” to work with former Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke and Chair Yellen during such a “challenging period for the nation’s economy and financial system.”

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