In response to President Obama’s nomination of White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew as Treasury Secretary, the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America expressed its eagerness to working with Lew.
The Treasury Department houses the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) and the Federal Insurance Office (FIO), both created by the Dodd-Frank Act.
“Property and casualty insurers provide an important source of economic strength and stability,” said David Sampson, president and CEO of PCI. “We look forward to continuing to serve as a resource with the Treasury officials in their efforts to address the challenges facing our economy, which includes preserving a strong and stable insurance marketplace that protects home, auto and business owners."
Lew served in the Clinton White House as head of the Office of Management and Budget, a role he’s also held under Obama, as well as working at Citigroup from 2006 to 2009. He will bring extensive budget experience, but he has not dealt much with financial regulation, which may signal a shift in emphasis out of the White House away from regulatory matters and toward budget issues.
At a 2010 Senate hearing, Lew declared that he did not believe deregulation was “the proximate cause” of the financial crisis. Given the upcoming debates regarding the debt ceiling and federal budget, Lew isn’t likely to have much time to spare on regulation.
Nevertheless, the Dodd-Frank Act has yet to be fully implemented, the FIO is 12-months overdue on the release its first report, and most expected SIFI designations and insurance regulatory modernization reports to be delivered from the FSOC by now. With this activity still on the docket, all eyes in the industry are on Lew.
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