Geithner vs Bair

“The oversight council described in the proposal currently lacks sufficient authority to effectively address systemic risks.”

-Sheila C. Bair, chairwoman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation


In the regulatory smackdown between Treasury, and the FDIC, my vote for the saner plan is with the FDIC. Treasury has done a horrific job in overseeing banks, first with Paulson in charge, now with Geithner, who previosuly did a terrible job overseeing banks as President of the NY Fed.

“Senior regulators and some lawmakers clashed once again with the Obama administration on Thursday, finding fault with central elements of the White House’s latest plan to unwind large financial companies when their troubles imperil the financial system.

Describing the details of the legislation to the House Financial Services Committee, Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner emphasized that the plan would give officials the tools to more tightly supervise the largest financial companies. The government would also have the authority to order companies to shed risky assets or limit trading activities if they posed a threat to the companies’ stability.

But after he completed his testimony, significant parts of the plan were challenged by Sheila C. Bair, chairwoman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. She raised numerous objections about the structure of a proposed council of regulators, and said that it would fall short of its goal of protecting the system from the shock of a large failure.”

My views are pretty straight forward:

• Federal Reserve should set monetary policy, not regulate banks.(They’ve demonstrated they are incompetent at the latter)

• Treasury should over see taxing and spending policies, executing that via IRS, Mint, etc.

• The FDIC, the entity in charge of insuring the banks deposits, should make sure these banks don’t blow themselves up.

See, regulation is easy — if you keep it simple and focused!


F.D.I.C. Chief Criticizes Reform Plan
NYT, October 29, 2009

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