Bloomberg News reported today on the uber competency of former T. Rowe Price exec and current Treasury honcho Mary Miller and the critical role the Guilford mom is playing juggling the Volcker rule with the housing overhaul:
Mary Miller knows all about risk.
As an executive at T. Rowe Price during the 2008 financial crisis, she reassured worried bond traders and portfolio managers when a competitor, the $62.5 billion Reserve Primary Fund, failed after investing in the debt of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.
“It is not a small lift to say we are going to reform housing finance credit going forward,” said the U.S. Treasury’s Mary Miller, calling it a “fascinating exercise.”
Four years later, Miller is the U.S. Treasury official coordinating five agencies that are writing the Volcker rule intended to limit risk at banks. Regulators are now taking a closer look following JPMorgan Chase’s trading loss of at least $5.8 billion and analyzing whether the trade would have been allowed if the rule had been in place.
“Mary Miller is critical to the Volcker rule getting done,” said Kathryn Dick, former deputy comptroller at the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and now a managing director at Promontory Financial Group LLC in Washington. “It’s a very complicated task, but if anyone can orchestrate an agreement, it’s Mary, because of her credibility within the industry.”
In the aftermath of JPMorgan’s loss and two congressional hearings in which lawmakers questioned Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon, pressure has increased to finish crafting the rule’s language. Regulators have said they are unlikely to finish before the July 21 deadline. Miller said in June she thinks the work will be finished this year.
Miller, 56, spent 26 years at T. Rowe Price, including as director of fixed income, head of the municipal bond department and portfolio manager. While she has kept a low profile in Washington, no regulator has a wider-ranging role in U.S. financial policy.
Read Treasury’s Miller Juggles Volcker with Housing Overhaul at bloomberg.com