Yesterday's Wall Street Journal had a pretty encouraging profile of Dan Tarullo, the Obama-appointed Fed governor. Take, for instance, this passage:
Inside the Fed, where Mr. Tarullo succeeded a Bush-appointed free-market economist in the banking oversight post, the transition hasn't been seamless. Some Fed officials said privately Mr. Tarullo can have an overbearing skepticism of banks and supervisors. Some Fed staffers are so wary of being second-guessed they ask him to approve even mundane bank applications.
Sounds pretty good to me. A little more "overbearing skepticism" under Bush could probably have saved millions of jobs and trillions in misallocated capital. There's also this:
Mr. Tarullo is pushing Fed officials to account for past regulatory breakdowns, causing friction within the Fed. The Fed board in Washington delegates supervision of individual banks to the 12 regional Fed banks. A group led by Mr. Tarullo gave the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta a stinging internal review for weak bank supervision earlier this year. The Southeast has been plagued by bank failures. The 60-year-old head of bank supervision at the Atlanta Fed retired shortly after Mr. Tarullo came into power, and the Fed appointed three people from outside the area to temporarily run bank supervision in Atlanta, a sign several inside the central bank read as Washington tightening its scrutiny of regional offices.
It's hard to see how anybody could oppose accounting for past regulatory breakdowns, but apparently these people exist. Worse, a lot of them seem to exist at the Fed. Good for Tarullo for stiff-arming them.