Financial Regulatory Reform Debate Begins

Today, the U.S. House Financial Services Committee will welcome several experts to debate financial regulatory reform approaches.  Paul Volcker, former Federal Reserve Chairman and current Head of the President’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board, will testify first by offering his views on how reforms should be enacted.   Here is an excerpt from his prepared testimony.

Important parts of the Administration’s proposed reforms can be – and some are being – implemented and enforced under existing authority. The Treasury has set out principles for capital and liquidity standards. Other prudential approaches are under consideration. Most notably risk management practices, for banks and certain other regulated institutions have been placed under urgent review. At the supervisors’ initiative, useful and needed steps are being taken to encourage more prudent compensation practices.

These are needed steps toward a stronger reformed financial system. However, I want to emphasize two inter-related issues of fundamental importance that run across the more particular elements of reform. One is a matter of broad regulatory practice: how to deal with the insidious, potentially risk-enhancing, spread of “moral hazard”, the presumption that systemically important institutions may be protected in the face of imminent failure. The overlapping question is one of administrative responsibility: in particular the appropriate role of the central bank (the Federal Reserve) in regulation, supervision and oversight of the financial system.

Mr. Volcker has defined the problem very well.  The answer lies in the need to decelerate the consolidation of financial institutions and accelerate the consolidation of regulatory oversight.  Just the opposite has occurred over the past few decades and led us to the brink of financial collapse.

Paul A. Volcker


About Wheelhouse Advisors
Wheelhouse Advisors LLC is the publisher of The ERM Current™, an online publication and blog dedicated to providing the latest updates on current trends in Enterprise Risk Management & Control. Wheelhouse Advisors provides cost-effective Enterprise Risk Management & Control solutions to both large and mid-size corporations. To learn more about Wheelhouse Advisors, please visit our web site at

2 Responses to Financial Regulatory Reform Debate Begins

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