Sunday, October 29, 2006

Barney Frank wants a global financial regulator.

Bidness: As the Dems let their fetish for global approval run wild in this election season.

Financial regulators on both sides of the Atlantic may not be able to resolve policy disputes through co-operation and the creation of a global regulator should be considered, according to Barney Frank, the senior Democratic congressman. The views of the man widely expected take over the chair of the House financial services committee if the Democrats retake the chamber stand in stark contrast to those of the Securities and Exchange Commission, the financial regulator that the committee oversees. Christopher Cox, chairman of the SEC, has been at pains in recent months to highlight stepped-up co-operation with foreign regulators such as the UK’s Financial Services Authority. This co-operation is seen as necessary as exchanges consolidate beyond regional borders, moves highlighted by the proposed New York Stock Exchange merger with Euronext. “Doesn’t that sound like fun,” Mr Frank said of such co-operation. “Joint action is theoretically [good] but what does that mean? In American baseball, if the runner and the ball arrive at the base at the same time, the tie goes to the fielder. Who breaks a tie if there is a disagreement over policy between the SEC and FSA?” Asked if a supra-national regulator would be needed, he told the Financial Times: “I don’t know. At this point that’s something to look into.”

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