Goodbye to Comptroller of the Currency: Who was John Dugan?

Monday, July 19, 2010

A native of Washington, DC, John C. Dugan was sworn in as the 29th Comptroller of the Currency in August 2005. On July 8, 2010, he announced that he would step down when his five-year term ends on August 14, 2010. Considering that his job was to regulate and supervise all national banks, including Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Citigroup and JPMorgan Chase, his tenure was marred considerably by the near meltdown of the banking industry that began in late 2008.

Dugan graduated in 1977 from the University of Michigan with an AB in English literature. He earned his JD from Harvard Law School in 1981. From 1985 to 1989, Dugan was counsel and minority general counsel for the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. There he advised the committee as it considered the Competitive Equality Banking Act of 1987, the Proxmire Financial Modernization Act of 1988, and the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act of 1989.
He served at the Department of the Treasury from 1989 to 1993 and was appointed Assistant Secretary for Domestic Finance in 1992. While at Treasury, Dugan was responsible for policy initiatives involving banks and financial institutions, including the savings and loan cleanup, Glass-Steagall and banking reform, and regulation of government-sponsored enterprises. In 1991, he oversaw a study of the banking industry that formed the basis for the financial legislation proposed by the administration of President H.W. Bush.
Before his appointment as comptroller, Dugan was a partner at the law and lobbying firm of Covington & Burling, where he chaired the firm’s Financial Institutions Group and specialized in banking and financial institution regulation.
Among his professional and volunteer activities, Dugan served as a director of Minbanc, a charitable organization whose mission is to enhance professional and educational opportunities for minorities in the banking industry. He was also a member of the American Bar Association’s committee on banking law, the Federal Bar Association’s section of financial institutions and the economy, and the District of Columbia Bar Association’s section of corporations, finance, and securities laws.
In September 2007, Dugan was named chairman of the Joint Forum, which operates under the aegis of the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, the International Organization of Securities Commissions, and the International Association of Insurance Supervisors. The Joint Forum includes senior financial sector regulators from the United States, Canada, Europe, Japan and Australia and deals with issues common to the banking, securities and insurance industries, including supervision of conglomerates.
-Noel Brinkerhoff


Leave a comment