• Treasury Official Outlines Goals for Financial Markets Regulation
  • August 18, 2010
  • Law Firm: Alston Bird LLP - Atlanta Office
  • Earlier today, Michael Barr, Treasury’s assistant secretary for financial institutions, spoke at the Charlotte, North Carolina Chamber of Commerce regarding the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act and upcoming regulatory changes. 

    Assistant Secretary Barr began by providing a brief overview of some of the factors contributing to the financial markets crisis, including increased securitization, lower underwriting standards, tranching of asset-backed securities, and a lack of transparency. 

    He then went on to discuss the recently passed Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, as well as the related regulatory changes that will be implemented.  Barr reemphasized the principles that Secretary Geithner has laid out for the Treasury in order to guide them in the implementation of the reform: 

    1. Regulatory agencies should move as quickly as possible to bring clarity to the new rules of finance.
    2. Regulatory agencies should provide full transparency and disclosure.
    3. Outdated rules, and rules that were ineffective, should be eliminated.
    4. New rules must protect innovation and economic growth.
    5. Playing fields must be more level—both between U.S. banks and non-banks, and between U.S. financial institutions and those in other countries.
    6. The regulatory process must be streamlined, so that agencies are working together to better regulate the financial industry and better protect consumers. 

    Barr concluded by stating that efficient and innovative markets rely on regulation to provide “clear rules of the road,” and that “the President's financial reforms lay a new foundation for financial regulation that will once again help to make our markets vital and strong.”