June 16, 2006

Oops. Bankers congratulate Fed nominee too soon

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. banking group on Friday
congratulated Federal Reserve Board Governor Donald Kohn on his
confirmation to be vice chairman at the central bank.

The only problem: the Senate has yet to vote on the
nomination.

The Senate on Thursday did approve a number of nominees
that had been considered by the Senate Banking Committee. But
Kohn's nomination did not clear the hurdle needed to be
considered by unanimous consent, as the other nominees had.

Any senator can prevent a nomination from coming up under
Senate unanimous consent procedures. In this case, it was
Republican Jim Bunning of Kentucky, a critic of the central
bank and the only member of the Banking Committee to oppose
Kohn's nomination.

"He just wanted the opportunity to be able to speak on
him," Bunning spokesman Mike Reynard said.

Bunning likely will get his opportunity -- and Kohn his
vote -- on Monday. Approval seems assured.

"His wealth of expertise in monetary policy will serve our
nation well," Camden Fine, president of the Independent
Community Bankers of America, said in jumping the gun.