Volcker Asks Congress to Bring Order to Regulatory 'Circus.' (Paul A. Volcker)

By Naylor, Bartlett | American Banker, February 27, 1985 | Go to article overview

Volcker Asks Congress to Bring Order to Regulatory 'Circus.' (Paul A. Volcker)


Naylor, Bartlett, American Banker


Volcker Asks Congress to Bring Order to Regulatory "Circus'

Federal Reserve Chairmen Paul A. Volcker called present banking law a "circus' of loopholes Tuesday and urged Congress to act quickly to restore order.

"The [banking] world out there is moving,' he told members of the House subcommittee on domestic monetary affairs. If Congress wants to play a role in shaping policy, he said, "you better move and do it now.'

"We have a circus going on here,' Mr. Volcker said. "It seems like everyone wants to be a banking lawyer.'

Regulators are now "interpreting the Constitution,' he said. "We are, like it or not, making banking policy. We would like direction. We don't like interpreting outmoded banking law.'

Banking legislation requires a "comprehensive view' of policy, he said, but laws nevertheless are being made "by default.'

He pointed to nonbank banks, other interstate banking activities, and moves by states to relax regulations as areas needing immediate congressional guidance. "I see a great rush by states to provide all sorts of powers for banks not consistent with federal policy,' the Fed chairman said.

Mr. Volcker, who has attempted to stem proliferation of the limited-service institutions known as nonbank banks, did call for liberalization of banking laws. Nonbank banks are recent legal creations designed to allow companies to avoid prohibitions against interstate banking.

He did not detail what legislation is needed from Congress.

Mr. Volcker's agency is under deadline pressure to review nonbank-bank applications already given preliminary approval by the Comptroller of the Currency, a task some say Mr. Volcker is reluctant to undertake. …

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