As the Obama administration turns over rock after rock in its efforts to reform the financial services industry, it may be no surprise that it is actively discussing the creation of a regulatory commission to protect those who purchase financial products such as mortgages and mutual funds.
Such is the latest report from the Washington Post, which claims that senior policymakers, including Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and National Economic Council director Lawrence Summers, are meeting at the Treasury Department last evening to discuss the plans over dinner.
The creation of such a commission would be significant, say sources, and impactful as a step in President Obama’s plans to overhaul the financial regulatory system. Yet how this type of decision will affect insurers remains to be seen.
The creation of a financial product regulator would match a theme that Geithner has suggested is central to his vision of financial supervision, reports the Wall Street Journal. Instead of having regulators that look at specific companies, he has suggested having regulators that look horizontally at products and practices.
Under the current regulatory framework, oversight of financial products is split between numerous of state and federal agencies, including the Fed, SEC, the FTC and others that do not consider consumer protection a priority, reports the Post.
The Journal adds that one possible scenario is that officials consolidate some government agencies, such as the Office of Thrift Supervision, and strip some powers from the Federal Reserve and others to centralize the policing of financial products within a new body.
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