December 10, 2013
The Advantages Of Having Five Regulators Write One (Volcker) Rule
Posted by David Zaring

I've got a piece over in DealBook on the advantages of a multi-regulator regime, which can be seen if you squint in just the right way.  A taste:

No other country has created such a patchwork of agencies to deal with financial oversight. Henry Paulson, a former Treasury secretary, called for a rationalization of financial regulation before the financial crisis in 2008. You wouldn’t dream up a world where a rule on proprietary trading by banks has to be administered by five agencies, if it is going to work at all.

Nonetheless, even historical accidents have their merits. Cass Sunstein, the former White House regulatory czar, has long argued that group dynamics — whether they involve multiple judges looking at the same issue, or multiple agencies thinking about the same regulation — can moderate the extremes, and, perhaps, reflect the more careful deliberation that a give-and-take among decision makers should produce.

Moreover, if those regulators, in the end, decide to do things differently, we might expect the benefits of experiment, followed by market discipline, as investors flock to those financial institutions subject to the regulations most likely to keep them profitable and solvent.

Go give it a look, and let me know what you think.

Administrative Law, Financial Institutions | Bookmark

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