In Brief: Baker Seeks Sunshine in Rulemaking
Heller, Michele, American Banker
Rep. Richard H. Baker on Thursday called for "more openness in the rulemaking process of government agencies," starting with a pilot program at the Securities and Exchange Commission.
In a speech to the Securities Traders Association, the chairman of the Financial Services subcommittee on capital markets criticized the SEC for making some decisions behind closed doors, a practice called a "seriatum" vote. Further, he complained that the law prohibits regulators from discussing rule-writing with lawmakers.
"If I were to have called the Federal Reserve" six months ago when they were writing the merchant banking capital rules "and say, 'Alan this is Richard, how are you? Tell me what you all are going to do on the rule on merchant banking,' he couldn't respond," Rep. Baker said. That would have been helpful because, he said, the Fed's handling of merchant banking rules was an example of a regulator "meeting secretly and coming up with mystical interpretation of the legislative intent and putting it into law by publication . …