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Obama’s financial reform principles

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and economic advisor Larry Summers laid out the framework for the Obama administration’s regulatory reforms in an op-ed in the Washington Post Monday morning.

The whole thing is worth reading since the roll out of the plan will dominate the week, along with healthcare reform.

Geithner and Summers break down the plan into five problems and remedies. They start by laying out this uplifting diagnosis of the current system:

Our framework for financial regulation is riddled with gaps, weaknesses and jurisdictional overlaps, and suffers from an outdated conception of financial risk. In recent years, the pace of innovation in the financial sector has outstripped the pace of regulatory modernization, leaving entire markets and market participants largely unregulated.

The fourth problem and remedy stands out because it touches upon how the biggest reform will change the current regulation structure, I think.

Fourth, the federal government does not have the tools it needs to contain and manage financial crises. Relying on the Federal Reserve’s lending authority to avert the disorderly failure of nonbank financial firms, while essential in this crisis, is not an appropriate or effective solution in the long term.

To address this problem, we will establish a resolution mechanism that allows for the orderly resolution of any financial holding company whose failure might threaten the stability of the financial system. This authority will be available only in extraordinary circumstances, but it will help ensure that the government is no longer forced to choose between bailouts and financial collapse.

It seems to me this is the broadest reform Obama will be seeking and it is laid out in the vaguest terms here, no?

Tags Barack Obama Business Council on Foreign Relations Government Group of Thirty Person Career Presidency of Barack Obama Public administration Regulation Subprime mortgage crisis solutions debate Timothy Geithner United States

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