A Frank approach to financial regulation

Steve Henn Dec 4, 2008
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A Frank approach to financial regulation

Steve Henn Dec 4, 2008
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TEXT OF STORY

Scott Jagow: Congressman Barney Frank will give a speech today about re-regulating the financial system. His Financial Services committee will take up the issue next month. Marketplace’s Steve Henn caught up with Frank.


Steve Henn: For Barney Frank, it’s obvious America’s fragmented system of financial regulation simply doesn’t work.

Barney Frank: Here’s the deal: If you start to regulate by institution, pretty soon, somebody will decide to be the kind of institution that’s not quite covered by the regulation.

By summer, Frank hopes to have overhaul this entire regulatory mess. He’d like to give one regulator — probably the Federal Reserve — broad new powers to rein in high-flyers and constrain what he sees as “excessive risk taking.”

Frank: If you’re a bank right now, you can only lend a certain amount more than your capital. But if you are another institution — a hedge fund or an investment bank, et cetera — you’ve been under no such constraints.

Frank would like to see capital reserve requirements for any institution that wants to play in Wall Street’s sandbox. He’s also a fan of ideas like a Financial Services Safety Commission. That could make sure your mortgage doesn’t do you in.

In Washington, I’m Steve Henn for Marketplace.

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