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Milbank

THE OBAmA WHITE PAPER ON FINANCIAL REgULATORy REFORm June 19, 2009

11. Single federal regulator? Despite press reports that the Administration had rejected the idea of creating a single federal regulator of the financial markets, the proposal to create a Financial Services Oversight Council might evolve as a major step in that direction. Because it will have a permanent staff in the Treasury and have “authorities and responsibilities with respect to . . . coordination of financial regulation,” the Council might well come to oversee its eight constituent members much as a single regulatory agency might manage that many internal divisions. The single-regulator model would be further promoted by the proposal to “reduce the differences in the substantive regulations and supervisory policies applicable to national banks, state member banks and state non-member banks.”

The White Paper will reportedly be converted to a concrete legislative proposal at which time it will be introduced for consideration by the relevant congressional committees. Although the Administration is pressing for enactment of the proposals by the end of the year, other parties are calling for more time to debate the measures given their significance. Attention will no doubt now shift to the chairmen of the House and Senate banking committees.

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