Devin Fergus

Devin Fergus is a fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Center.

Recent Articles

Regulators Who Look Like America

A controversial provision in the financial-reform bill doesn't include racial quotas, but it does promise to redress long-standing inequalities in the financial sector.

President Barack Obama and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi after signing the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. (White House/Pete Souza)
Buried in the financial-reform bill President Barack Obama signed in July is an innocuous-sounding provision, Section 342. It establishes Offices of Minority and Women Inclusion (OMWI) in each federal financial regulatory agency in an effort to expand gender and racial diversity and mitigate predatory financial practices. For many conservatives, Section 342 is anything but anodyne. Among the shrillest critics has been the nation's financial paper of record, The Wall Street Journal . Fearmongers on the Journal 's editorial board have branded Section 342 "the biggest under-reported threat" of the bill, declaring it "the most brazen attempt to hijack central bank policy since its founding nearly a century ago." There is little reason for such hysteria. Section 342 confers no enforcement powers; instead, it merely takes a cue from the Wall Street mantra that if something is not measured, it doesn't matter. Underlying the OMWI is the idea that greater racial and gender equity among...