Last week, President-elect Donald Trump named Paul Atkins, a former commissioner of the Securities and Exchange Commission, to lead the “landing team” for a number of financial regulatory agencies, including the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC), Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), and, wait for it, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Since he was named, people have started digging into Atkins’ history and past to see if any signs can be found that will help identify his potential intentions as Trump transitions into the presidency.
On first blush, it appears as though Trump and Atkins have a lot in common when it comes to their approaches and their ways of thinking. Atkins is described as having a “light touch” on regulations when he was an SEC commissioner, during President George W. Bush’s time in office.
Atkins has also testified before Congress three times about the effects of the Dodd-Frank law, which spawned the creation of the CFPB, among other things.
One published report focused on comments made by Atkins several years ago, where he criticized organized labor, global warming advocates, and other “Democratic allies,” according to the report.
Atkins reportedly met with Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence yesterday, possibly to discuss a full-time position in Trump’s administration. One possible landing spot is the Federal Reserve as vice chairman for supervision, a position created by Dodd-Frank but which has been left vacant under President Obama.
Conservative groups lauded the hiring of Atkins while more liberal organizations were “nervous” about his spot on the transition team.