Magazine article American Banker

Nominees to SEC and Fed Posts: Risk Control Key

Magazine article American Banker

Nominees to SEC and Fed Posts: Risk Control Key

Article excerpt

Byline: Stacy Kaper

WASHINGTON - Nominees for the Securities and Exchange Commission and Federal Reserve Board said Thursday that reforming the financial regulatory system to better prevent, contain, and respond to systemic risks would be a top priority if they are confirmed.

Daniel Tarullo, who is expected to be approved by the Senate soon to become a Fed governor, told committee members that regulation needs to focus on improving capital cushions and monitoring the system for risks presented by any significant institution that accesses Fed lending facilities - not just depositories.

"One of the first things we are going to need to do is determine how are we going to ensure adequate capital, because capital provides a buffer against losses no matter what their sources, and that provides a good reason for it to be a key part of financial regulation," Mr. Tarullo, alaw professor at Georgetown University Law Center, said during his confirmation hearing in the Senate Banking Committee.

Mary Schapiro, who appears headed for a smooth confirmation to become chairman of the SEC, agreed the Fed should be used as a regulator of systemic risk, and advocated federal oversight of insurance companies and disclosure of hedge fund activities.

"I think the SEC needs to work very closely with the CFTC, and with the Fed and with the Treasury to ensure we don't create another regulatory gap," she said. "We should have federal oversight of insurance companies and those that have systemic implications like AIG should come under the Federal Reserve umbrella."

Though the hearing featured other appointees to serve in the incoming Obama administration's Council of Economic Advisors, it was mostly devoid of contention. Sen. Richard Shelby, the lead Republican on the panel, said he was concerned that the Fed, which has started several programs to promote liquidity, has not articulated an exit strategy. …

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