December 02, 2013
The Chamber Of Commerce Wants To Overhaul The FSOC
Posted by David Zaring

One of the things the FSOC is supposed to be is a task force keeping an eye on financial stability.  But it is also, to that end, supposed to be a noodge.  It keeps threatening to do something about money market funds in an effort to force the SEC to do more, for example.  And it has designated two insurance companies and GE Capital as systemically significant because their primary regulators had not done so.

That is why it is kind of interesting that the Chamber of Commerce has urged that the noodge factor be tamped down.  Currently the FSOC can just vote to designate a financial institution as systemtically signficant over the objection of their primary regulator.  As Reuters reports on the Chamber's proposal:

"If the primary regulator or independent council member does not vote in favor of designating a non-bank financial company for which the council member has industry expertise... then a second vote shall be scheduled within 45 days," the Chamber wrote. "The primary regulator shall issue a report to the FSOC within 30 days of the initial vote explaining its rationale as to why a firm should not be designated."

It's not a dramatic change - it would slow, rather than end, the council's designation role - but it does suggest that regualted industry is worried about what the FSOC is doing.  And that is worth noting, because it wasn't clear that the committee would be able to accomplish much at all, considering that it is a jammed together new federal entity, without totally obvious powers to forces its members to do anything (not always - Jake Gersen has a nice article on the entity that characterizes some of its powers to require as a "Mother-May-I" approach - the cite to that is here, and after the jump).

Jacob E. Gersen, Administrative Law Goes to Wall Street: The New Administrative Process, 65 Admin. L. Rev. 689, 711 (2013)

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