Posts filed under “Regulation”
Of all the outrages endured during the financial crisis, perhaps the most perplexing involved money-market mutual funds. In an example of moral hazard writ large, this uninsured risk instrument — with $2.57 trillion in assets — somehow became too big to fail. Five years later, the Securities and Exchange Commission is finally taking steps to…Read More
Click to see an interactive graphic. Source: WSJ
This week in encouraging news, we learn that the Securities and Exchange Commission may finally be pursuing one of the prime enablers of the financial crisis — the ratings companies. Previously, it was reported that disclosure violations were on the SEC’s radar, but truth be told, those are minor offenses. The SEC’s Office of Credit…Read More
Remarks Before the Peterson Institute of International Economics
Commissioner Kara M. Stein
June 12, 2014
Thank you, Adam, for the kind introduction. I also would like to thank the Peterson Institute for International Economics for hosting me today.
I, like all of you in this room, believe we need to have strong, vibrant capital markets if we want to have a healthy, job-creating economy. Our capital markets must be built on a foundation that is strong enough to withstand the next storm. During the Great Recession, we started a discussion about how to help insulate us when the next crisis comes.
The next financial crisis may come from any direction. My job is to help figure out where the next crisis may come from, and how to minimize the damage it would cause. That means we must identify systemic risks and mitigate them. Today, we have convened to continue this conversation and discuss what the SEC can do to better prevent the buildup and transmission of risks that can take down our entire financial system.
I’m going to begin our discussion today with a quick reminder of how we got here. And then, I’m going to focus on the three key areas where the SEC can play a critical role in addressing systemic risks. First, we need to step outside of our silo and think broadly and cooperatively with our fellow regulators, both domestic and international. Second, we need to focus on improving the stability and resiliency of the short-term funding markets, including securities lending and repurchase agreements (repo). Third, we need to re-examine how we evaluate capital, leverage, and liquidity within the financial institutions and funds we regulate.
With the financial crisis in the rear view mirror, many forget the forces that converged in 2007. Some even deny the impact of the recession, optimistically viewing our financial markets and our economy as inoculated from a virus that spread quickly and wreaked havoc on a global economy. Yet, studies demonstrate that the Great Recession continues to affect both attitudes and behaviors. A recent survey found that the generation entering the workforce now – the Millennials, who are 21 to 36 years old – have the same fiscally conservative views as the generation that exited the Great Depression. Millennials are skeptical of the financial markets and long-term investing, yet we increasingly depend on them to invest and drive our economy.
I, too, am crisis-scarred. And I share a dream with these Millennials. I dream of never facing another financial crisis. I want to do my part to avoid ever having to face another one. The events of 2008 are indelibly etched into my memory. In 2008, while I was working for Senator Jack Reed, our country’s economic leaders began closed-door briefings with members of Congress. Concerned about the unfolding financial crisis, the Chair of the Federal Reserve and the Secretary of Treasury pleaded for help and for an unprecedented financial intervention to stave off another Great Depression. They wanted tools to protect our Nation from an invisible force that came to be known as systemic risk. A comprehensive strategy was developed to stabilize our economy and unlock the credit markets in order to save our financial system.
Yesterday on my commute to work, I became annoyed with the spotty coverage and slow connection provided by Verizon Wireless. I tweeted my frustration. Imagine my surprise when AT&T’s social networking Tinkerbell responded to me: “Connect when and where you want with our reliable 4G LTE!” I found that amusing. The reason I switched to…Read More