Appearing today before House Financial Services, Treasury Secretary Lew took heavy – and seemingly unexpected – fire over his knowledge about the e-mails sent by Mrs. Clinton as Secretary of State. Administration support for the Export-Import Bank was also a hot button. However, perhaps surprising Mr. Lew, Treasury also was criticized by both Republicans and Democrats for what Members characterized as unilateral agreement by it and the FRB with global rules that are unsuitable for U.S. insurance companies. Members also want the $50 billion designation and BHC threshold for systemic regulation relaxed, but Mr. Lew was unwilling to commit to this change. He was also criticized over the FSB’s plan to exempt Chinese banks from loss-absorbency, an action that seemed to surprise him and one that will clearly influence future Congressional action on the ability of U.S. regulators to implement FSOC edicts and the FRB’s TLAC rules. Chairman Hensarling (R-TX) led the charge, arguing that the Financial Stability Board is exercising undue influence, but other Members on both sides of the aisle argued against both systemic designation and FRB regulatory policy. GOP Members were also highly critical of the IMF, making it clear that opposition in this Congress remains very strong to changing the U.S. role in the Fund in favor of emerging nations.
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