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News Now

Washington
Frank is confident of reg reform in 2009
WASHINGTON (7/28/09)—Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) reiterated Monday
House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass), shown here addressing CUNA's 2009 Governmental Affairs Conference, says the goal of financial regulatory reform is to support innovation but curb abuses. (CUNA photo)
that he is confident the House will approve a financial regulatory reform bill and pass it on for Senate consideration by October, and President Obama will sign it by yearend. He said the goal of the reform package is to provide an environment in which financial innovations flourish, while eliminating excessive risk and consumer abuses. Frank was addressing a luncheon gathering at the National Press Club here. The Credit Union National Association was in attendance. He denied there is any validity to the arguments of those who question his projected time frame that other huge issues facing the U.S. Congress—such as health care reform, carbon emissions legislation and more—make it unlikely, if not impossible, to successfully tackle financial regulatory reform in 2009. “These are not in conflict,” Frank said both in his prepared remarks and in response to a later question. He is chairman of the House Financial Services Committee. Frank added that “nothing is retarding our efforts” to address the financial industry and he called the effort by legislators “essential.” Frank opined that the nation is experiencing now a cycle that has repeated in the country’s history where innovation outstripped regulatory structure and adjustment became necessary to restore a balance. “Rules provide a framework so this wonderful capitalist system can move forward,” Frank said. He said the goal of the congress’ current effort is to allow innovation yet curb abuses. Among his goals, Frank said a new regulatory regime should:
* Re-introduce a structure in which regulators cannot deflect their responsibilities as overseers; * Place limits on securitizations by requiring some retention of risk; * Set leveraging maximum; * Contain derivatives; and * Protect consumers.


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