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Sheila Bair, chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, speaks during a news briefing in Washington, D.C. - 

Steve Chiotakis: There's a confirmation hearing later today for the top spot at the federal deposit insurance corporation. The FDIC has been really busy lately with cleaning up failed banks. Supporters of financial reform say the FDIC needs a permanent chairman -- soon.

Marketplace's Nancy Marshall-Genzer reports.

Nancy Marshall Genzer: Under Dodd-Frank, big banks have to file "living wills" big banks have to file living wills with the FDIC specifying how they can be wound down if they fail. The agency decides how much money banks have to keep in reserve. President Obama has nominated Martin Gruenberg to head the agency.

Fred Rivera is an attorney and expert on the financial reform law.

Fred Rivera: So I think it's very important that someone gets confirmed and it's somebody who carries respect within the industry to have these various regulations move forward and be effective.

Former FDIC chair Sheila Bair had a similar warning this month. She said any delay in confirming her successor would make it hard for the FDIC to assert its authority under Dodd-Frank.

Bill Black teaches economics at the University of Missouri, Kansas City. He says Bair was a strong reformer.

Bill Black: Her opponents are eager to prevent, or at least delay, this nomination.

But the nominee, Gruenberg, is already the FDIC's vice chairman. Black says that could speed things up.

In Washington, I'm Nancy Marshall Genzer for Marketplace.