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New panel would monitor systemic risk

Jeremy Hobson Feb 18, 2010
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New panel would monitor systemic risk

Jeremy Hobson Feb 18, 2010
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TEXT OF INTERVIEW

Steve Chiotakis: The Senate continues to iron out a new road map for financial regulation, and there’s word this morning of a possible agreement on how to monitor risk to the financial system. That’s been one of the main sticking points as lawmakers have tried to come up with a bipartisan plan for regulatory reform. Marketplace’s Jeremy Hobson joins us now live from New York with more. Good morning, Jeremy.

Jeremy Hobson: Morning, Steve.

Chiotakis: So what’s the deal here? What’s the potential?

Hobson: Well according to the New York Times, it would involve putting the Treasury Secretary in charge of a panel that would monitor what’s called systemic risk. In other words, the kind of activity at financial institutions that can bring the whole system to a halt if bets go bad. Now it had been thought that the chairman of the Fed would be in charge of this panel, but it appears lawmakers are more comfortable giving
that power to the Treasury Secretary. Which may not be a huge surprise given all the heat that the Fed and Ben Bernanke, the current Fed chairman, has taken from Congress over the last few months.

Chiotakis: And what’s the time frame, Jeremy, for all of this?

Hobson: Well, there’s going to be a possible deal coming Monday, when two of the key senators on the Banking Committee come back from a trip that they’re on together to Central America. But this is just a tiny part of this huge financial regulatory overhaul package that the Senate is working on. The House, as you may remember, passed its version of the package. But there are a lot of other issues to be worked out, notably what the head of this council will be able to do if he actually finds something that poses systemic risk. So observers do not expect a final bill on the president’s desk for at least several more months.

Chiotakis: Marketplace’s Jeremy Hobson with us, reporting from New York. Jeremy, thanks.

Hobson: Thanks, Steve.

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