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Financial Regulatory Reform 2009

Financial Regulatory Reform 2009

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Published by OAITA
President Obama's proposal to overhaul financial regulation, including measures directed at the mortgage industry.
President Obama's proposal to overhaul financial regulation, including measures directed at the mortgage industry.

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Published by: OAITA on Jun 24, 2009
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02/04/2013

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Financial Regulatory Reform: A New Foundation
T
ABLE OF
C
ONTENTS
 Introduction ........................................................................................................................2Summary of Recommendations .....................................................................................10I. Promote Robust Supervision and Regulation of Financial Firms ...........................19II. Establish Comprehensive Regulation of Financial Markets...................................43III. Protect Consumers and Investors from Financial Abuse ......................................55IV. Provide the Government with the Tools it Needs to Manage Financial Crises ...76V. Raise International Regulatory Standards and Improve InternationalCooperation
 
.....................................................................................................................80
1 
 
Financial Regulatory Reform: A New Foundation
I
NTRODUCTION
 
Over the past two years we have faced the most severe financial crisis since the GreatDepression. Americans across the nation are struggling with unemployment, failingbusinesses, falling home prices, and declining savings. These challenges have forced thegovernment to take extraordinary measures to revive our financial system so that peoplecan access loans to buy a car or home, pay for a child’s education, or finance a business.The roots of this crisis go back decades. Years without a serious economic recessionbred complacency among financial intermediaries and investors. Financial challengessuch as the near-failure of Long-Term Capital Management and the Asian FinancialCrisis had minimal impact on economic growth in the U.S., which bred exaggeratedexpectations about the resilience of our financial markets and firms. Rising asset prices,particularly in housing, hid weak credit underwriting standards and masked the growingleverage throughout the system.At some of our most sophisticated financial firms, risk management systems did not keeppace with the complexity of new financial products. The lack of transparency andstandards in markets for securitized loans helped to weaken underwriting standards.Market discipline broke down as investors relied excessively on credit rating agencies.Compensation practices throughout the financial services industry rewarded short-termprofits at the expense of long-term value.Households saw significant increases in access to credit, but those gains wereovershadowed by pervasive failures in consumer protection, leaving many Americanswith obligations that they did not understand and could not afford.While this crisis had many causes, it is clear now that the government could have donemore to prevent many of these problems from growing out of control and threatening thestability of our financial system. Gaps and weaknesses in the supervision and regulationof financial firms presented challenges to our government’s ability to monitor, prevent, oraddress risks as they built up in the system. No regulator saw its job as protecting theeconomy and financial system as a whole. Existing approaches to bank holding companyregulation focused on protecting the subsidiary bank, not on comprehensive regulation of the whole firm. Investment banks were permitted to opt for a different regime under adifferent regulator, and in doing so, escaped adequate constraints on leverage. Otherfirms, such as AIG, owned insured depositories, but escaped the strictures of seriousholding company regulation because the depositories that they owned were technicallynot “banks” under relevant law.We must act now to restore confidence in the integrity of our financial system. Thelasting economic damage to ordinary families and businesses is a constant reminder of the urgent need to act to reform our financial regulatory system and put our economy ontrack to a sustainable recovery. We must build a new foundation for financial regulationand supervision that is simpler and more effectively enforced, that protects consumersand investors, that rewards innovation and that is able to adapt and evolve with changesin the financial market.In the following pages, we propose reforms to meet five key objectives:2 

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