Financial Regulations: Obama Takes Another Swing at Big Banks

President Barack Obama has made another move to regulate big banks, this time by nominating former Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank President Thomas Hoenig, a prominent critic of large banks, to a key banking industry regulatory post.

Hoenig was nominated for vice chairman of the board of directors of the FDIC. If approved by the Senate, he will take the position held by Martin Gruenberg who in turn has been nominated for the role of chairman. Former Chairman Sheila Bair stepped do wn in July.

"Hoenig has been a critic of large banks, arguing they still pose a threat to the financial system and that the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial oversight law did not do enough to address the issue," reports Reuters.

If Hoenig takes the vice chairman role at the FDIC, his sentiment could have an effect on the types of regulations the Senate passes, especially with regard to big banks.

Given the possible addition of Hoenig to the FDIC, we were curious which banking stocks have been seeing the most pessimism from short-sellers.

Bears may be pricing in big regulations for these and other institutions -- do you think their earnings will be heavily affected?

List sorted by increase in shares sorted as a percent of share float. (Click here to access free, interactive tools to analyze these ideas)

1. Artio Global Investors (NYS: ART) : A publicly owned asset management holding company. Market cap of $439.92M. Short float at 10.47%. Shares shorted have increased from 2.63M to 3.28M month over month, a change representing 1.48% of the company's 43.85M share float.

2. City Holding Co. (NAS: CHCO) : Operates as the bank holding company for City National Bank of West Virginia that offers community banking services to consumers and local businesses. Market cap of $507.78M. Short float at 15.7%. Shares shorted have increased from 2.10M to 2.26M month over month, a change representing 1.12% of the company's 14.32M share float.

3. Colony Financial (NAS: CLNY) : Focuses on acquiring, originating, and managing commercial mortgage loans and other commercial real estate-related debt investments. Market cap of $459.42M. Short float at 11.11%. Shares shorted have increased from 3.30M to 3.64M month over month, a change representing 1.11% of the company's 30.56M share float.

Interactive Chart: Press Play to compare changes in analyst ratings over the last two years for the stocks mentioned above. Analyst ratings sourced from Zacks Investment Research.

At the time thisarticle was published List compiled by Alexander Crawford. Kapitall's Rebecca Lipman and Alexander Crawford do not own any of the shares mentioned above. Short data sourced from Yahoo! Finance.Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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