Trump announces housing-finance, market watchdog nominees

President TrumpDonald TrumpFormer defense secretary Esper sues Pentagon in memoir dispute Biden celebrates start of Hanukkah Fauci says lies, threats are 'noise' MORE on Tuesday announced his intent to nominate two key financial regulators to posts overseeing the federal housing finance system and U.S. derivatives markets, respectively.

The White House said Trump plans to nominate Mark Calabria, the chief economist for Vice President Mike PenceMichael (Mike) Richard PenceTrump endorses challenger to Hogan ally in Maryland governor's race Pence to headline New Hampshire event focused on Biden spending plan The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by ExxonMobil - Arbery case, Biden spending bill each test views of justice MORE, to direct the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) and Treasury Department assistant secretary Heath Tarbert to chair the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).

Both nominees would play critical roles in the Trump administration’s efforts to overhaul the post-financial crisis regulatory regime and broaden its impact on the agencies enforcing those laws.

ADVERTISEMENT

If confirmed, Calabria would lead the department overseeing Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the troubled federal housing finance system. He was involved with the drafting of the bill that created the department and has been a vocal critic of the federal government’s possession of Fannie and Freddie, which issue securities based on  government-backed mortgages.

Calabria would replace FHFA Director Mel WattMelvin (Mel) Luther WattReport finds federal housing agency official 'abused her authority' Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac reform should put American taxpayers first Watchdog: Former Rep. Mel Watt attempted to 'coerce' employee into relationship MORE, a former Democratic congressman whose four-year term ends in January. Watt has been accused by a senior aide of repeated sexual harassment, and the case is currently being investigated by federal inspectors.

Calabria was the director of financial regulatory studies at the libertarian Cato Institute before joining Pence’s team in 2017. He served also stints as a Senate Banking Committee senior aide, deputy assistant secretary at the Department of Housing and Urban Development under former President George W. Bush.

Tarbert would chair the CFTC, a five-member commission that regulates and police the U.S. market for derivative investments, including futures contracts and swaps. The commission is currently chaired by J. Christopher Giancarlo, a Republican appointed by former President Obama.

Tarbert, a former partner at law firm firm Allen & Overy LLP and legal advisor at several public and private institutions, would be Trump’s fifth addition to the CFTC.