20080925 capitol at night 82925922 18
The dome of the U.S. Capitol at night. Republican and Democratic lawmakers were working almost around the clock to hammer out a proposal to stop the US financial crisis. - 



Bill Radke: Since the crisis hit, we keep hearing a three-word solution: more bank regulation. Hmmm, I wonder whether that's easier said or done. Let's find out. The House Financial Services Committee is holding a hearing today on new regulations -- like rules for how much of a cash cushion banks need to protect against losses. And it turns out there's disagreement. Marketplace's Nancy Marshall Genzer reports.

Nancy Marshall Genzer: The federal government dramatically loosened the rules on cash reserves for the biggest investment banks in 2004. Their brokerage units no longer had to link how much they borrowed to their cash reserves.

Steve Bartlett is president of the Financial Services Roundtable. He says there are still too many rules -- both at the state and federal levels.

Steve Bartlett: We think there ought to be a set of national standards, so it's not state by state.

Bartlett says there should be one federal czar regulating everybody. James Coffman is a former assistant director of enforcement at the Securities and Exchange Commission. He doesn't like that idea. He says it would give organizations like Bartlett's too much clout.

James Coffman: A trade organization would prefer to have as much power as possible concentrated in Washington because that is where they have the most and best paid lobbyists.

Today, the committee will try to balance competing arguments like those.

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