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Geithner urges end to ‘dumb regulation’

Sarah O’Connor
Financial Times [1]
Saturday, July 25, 2009

Divisions between the administration of Barack Obama, the Federal Reserve and key regulators came to a head on Friday as officials debated plans to overhaul the US regulatory system.

Tim Geithner, Treasury secretary, said there was “a lot of dumb regulation in our country” and urged lawmakers to enact quickly the administration’s plan to reform the system, in spite of resistance from the financial industry and other regulators.

“Every financial crisis of the last generation has sparked some effort at reform, but past attempts began too late, after the will to act had subsided,” he told the House financial services committee, which will start drawing up legislation in September. “That cannot happen this time.”

Earlier this year, the Obama administration unveiled its blueprint to reform the US’s haphazard system of financial regulation. The plans include giving the Fed power to regulate systemically important institutions, and the creation of an agency to protect consumers. However, Congress has the job of turning those plans into law, giving regulators a chance to push their own preferences instead. They are trying to hang on to their existing powers and have voiced concerns about the consumer agency in particular, which would take power from several of them.

Full article here [1]