Thursday, September 30, 2010

Regulatory Squabbles Threaten Financial Reform


The initial confrontation before the Senate Banking Committee didn’t come from the expected parties, Sheila Bair of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. or Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner. It was between Geithner deputy Neal Wolin and the committee chairman.

The issue: Would Geithner be a good-faith participant with other regulators?

The answer was Geithner would, Wolin said. Moreover, he will head the council of regulators when it meets for the first time Friday. This seemed important to Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., who noted that the infighting and lack of communication between agencies was partly responsible for the regulatory breakdown that failed to forecast and address the financial crisis.

“There has to be a change in how we operate,” Dodd told the panel.

Committee officials and Treasury Department officials told MarketWatch that Geithner wasn’t invited, while Wolin was. They also said all of the agencies have been cooperating.

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