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Wall Street will have to prioritize climate change, racism: New Senate Banking Committee head

The Senate Banking Committee will be getting a new chairman in Ohio Democrat Sherrod Brown, who said that his top priorities for Wall Street will be focused on addressing systemic racism and climate change. Yahoo Finance’s Brian Cheung breaks down the latest.

Video Transcript

JULIE HYMAN: And, Brian, as we were talking and looking ahead to regulation and what the regulatory environment is going to look like in the Biden administration, we have to notice that, of course, Congress is switching over as well-- the Senate, that is. And you had the chance to listen in on a call that Senator Sherrod Brown gave. And he's going to be, what, the chair of the Senate Banking Committee, right? What are his plans?

BRIAN CHEUNG: Yeah, well, again, because of the results of the Georgia election, the Democrats will have a narrow majority, which Kamala Harris is the tiebreaker in the Senate. That means that all the committees will be flipping over to Democratic control, which means that Sherrod Brown who was sitting on the sidelines as the ranking member of that committee during the Trump administration will now be taking on the head role of the Senate Banking Committee once the next Congress is put in place.

Now, what we do know about his policies based off of a call that he outlined to reporters yesterday, he said that he's really going to be focusing on systemic racism and climate change. He's actually apparently spoken with prospective Biden nominees, which could include the likes of Gary Gensler, about considering the assessments of climate risks. So for example, within the context of what the SEC does, that can mean disclosures that are required from companies on how exposed they are to climate risk.

With respect to the banking industry, we've already heard the Federal Reserve-- Jay Powell and Lael Brainard-- speaking about the idea of needing more transparency in that space. And broadly on financial regulation, he was a staunch opponent of a lot of the rollbacks that were done under the Trump administration on some of the Dodd-Frank post-crisis framework for financial regulatory reform. It'll be interesting to see how he approaches that. He has said that regulatory appointments will be very big, which could be important with the vice chairman of supervision at the Fed, Randy Quarles, his term as that role set to expire in October, which means the Biden campaign could have an opportunity to replace him at that time.