Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson's blueprint for reorganizing the financial regulators, which we've been looking at recently, seems to esteem the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision. On the one hand, fights over who represents the US in Basel slowed down the implementation of that international institution's diktats. The "prolonged process surrounding the development of U.S. Basel II capital rules" is an example of a "recent inter-agency dispute" thus confirms the need for a reorg.
On the other, Basel, as Treasury sees it anyway, is one of the things that ameliorates the pain of that reorg, specifically, the pain of guaranteeing the assets of investment banks:
While the presence of explicit government guarantees limits market discipline, efforts to reverse this trend within the prudential regulatory framework should continue as a way to impact behavior and provide useful market information to supervisors. For example, the Pillar 3 portion of the Basel Accord requires enhanced public disclosures in an effort to increase market discipline.
We wouldn't say the blueprint is obsessed with Basel and other international institutions like it - it is more worried about the effect of globalization on regulated industry, rather than the opportunities of globalization for regulators themselves. But it does show that you can talk systematically about American financial regulation without talking about Basel.
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