Phil Hauck's TEC Blog

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Atwell's Solution to Financial Crisis Regulation

In his recent Nicolet Bank Blog, CEO Bob Atwell made some interesting points about the financial breakdown of the last several years, as well as insights into the current 3,000-page regulatory reform bill ... insights which were also reprinted in Investors Business Daily. Among them:
• The goal must be to ELIMINATE (not just reduce) the systemic risk at the core of the problem, which is NOT the direction of the bill. The bill as proposed further centralizes and politicizes finance and financial regulation. Centralization of financial power and regulatory power is the CAUSE of the problem, NOT the solution.
• The premise of the bill is that systemic risk must be managed by more and tougher regulators. Regulatory complexity favors the large players in any industry because they have the people who can manage and lobby it. Smaller organizations don't.
• What we WANT is a system which has RISK ELIMINATED, not managed. The best way to ELIMINATE system risk is to stop using policy approaches that create it. It can be ELIMINATED very simply by imposing HIGHER CAPITAL STANDARDS on banking institutions. Taxation of system's risk would also reverse the implied public subsidy that creates it.
• "We hate Congress because we don't like what we see in the mirror (our going along with what they do), but we refuse to recognize it as our image."

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