Dumping Our Regulatory Alphabet Soup

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It's often been said that we're in the worst financial crisis since the 1930s. So perhaps its no surprise that we seem on the verge of the biggest financial regulatory overhaul since the Great Depression. But we certainly didn't expect anything this sweeping to come out of the Bush administration. We clearly underestimated these guys. Talk about shock and awe.
But we're getting ahead of ourselves. Over the weekend Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson released the outline of his controversial and sweeping a plan to overhaul financial regulation. He would eliminate thed SEC, FDIC, CFTC, OTS and OCC. And after dumping out this bowl of alphabet soup, he would fill it right back up again with the Prudential Financial Regulatory Agency , the Conduct of Business Regulatory Agency, the Federal Insurance Guarantee Corporation and the Corporate Finance Regulator. It's going to take some time to digest these changes.
Later this morning, Paulson will give a speech about this plan. In the meantime, the plan is already coming under criticism. Barney Frank worries that the plan may take too much power away from states, particularly (from what we've been lead to understand) in the area of regulating insurance. Larry Ribstein worries that the new, more concentrated structure of regulation could result in losing significant flexibility in financial innovation.
"On this latter point, consider that the CFTC's replacement, CBRA is likely to be less accommodating," Ribstein writes. He adds that "with one regulatory agency we’re likely to get fewer new financial products."
We're going to hold back for now, as we attempt to work through what's known about the plan. Let's see what Paulson has to say. More later today.
Paulson Plan Begins Battle Over How To Police Market
Paulson's big bang [Ideoblog]

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