Dans Lawmaker Urges New Financial Oversight le NYT fait état d'une proposition spécifique du représentant démocrate Barney Frank
Representative Barney Frank, the Massachusetts Democrat who is chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, wants to give either the Federal Reserve or a new regulator the power to oversee the activities of major financial players, regardless of whether they are a bank, securities firm or hedge fund.
Mr. Frank, who made the proposal Thursday in a speech to a business group in Boston, also suggested that investment banks be required to hold cushions against losses, a mandate that currently applies only to commercial banks. The concept, if enacted, could reshuffle the existing landscape of financial regulators, whose duties are split among several federal agencies, including divisions of the Treasury Department, the Fed and the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The crisis in the nation's housing market, the recent turmoil on Wall Street and a series of safety scares involving food, drugs and toys are driving both political parties to reconsider how much companies and markets should be relied upon to police themselves. Even under the pro-business Bush administration, it appears the question isn't whether the government will enact tougher rules for various parts of the economy, but just how much stricter those rules will be.
The new climate has some business groups girding for battle against what they fear could be onerous new requirements.
When lawmakers return from their spring recess March 31, they plan to begin work on what could be a sweeping overhaul of the financial regulatory system. Under the current system, responsibility is spread across at least eight agencies, an arrangement Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Christopher Cox last week called "nearly irrelevant to today's market." Such statements, along with its efforts to ease the housing crisis by prodding mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac into raising billions of dollars in new capital so they can finance more mortgages, illustrate the Bush administration's shift away from its early reluctance to interfere in markets.
"We're in for a potentially significant regulatory response," said Glenn Hubbard, dean of Columbia University's business school and a former chief economist for the Bush White House, referring to the credit crunch and its impact on financial markets. "The hope is we won't overreact."