Congress Calls for Financial Overhaul to Help Debt Relief
Regulating the Banking System
Due to the recession, people are looking for debt relief more than ever. Credit lenders are no longer as readily available as they once were. Mortgages are difficult to handle. The unemployment rate continues to rise. Because of these problems, the Obama administration is calling for a new “financial rulebook.” The administration aims to arm the Federal Reserve with increased power to regulate risk of large institutions in the financial industry. The goal is to police banks whose potential failure could cause economic instability to the nation.
The Federal Reserve also wants to create a strong framework of regulations and have a part in coordinating responsibilities within the financial system. Investors would have increased protection, with the Fed focusing a committee on consumer products such as credit cards and annuities. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner stated that the overhaul will “eliminate gaps in the financial system that encouraged risky behavior leading up to the meltdown [of the recession].” Geithner added, “We had a financial system that was fundamentally too unstable and fragile, and it did a bad job of basic protection of consumers and investors. Those are things we have to change.”
Unveiling the Plan
This week, President Obama is supposed to introduce his overhaul plan to the media. Initially the plan was for an intense restructuring that would consolidate all financial directives into one agency. Senator Chuck Schumer of New York was a strong supporter of the consolidation, believing that “retaining multiple regulatory entities preserves the regulatory arbitrage that allows institutions to pick the oversight scheme that benefits them the most, often at the expense of consumers and the health of the system overall.” This plan was ultimately vetoed by the Obama administration.
Another vetoed plan was to merge the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. Supporters believe the merging would offer a greater security in investments, bringing debt relief to aging Americans when they most need it, at retirement.
What We Should Expect
The plan to be unveiled will most likely leave the Fed, the OCC and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp as the largest banking regulators. In addition, the plan will impose “robust reporting requirements” on asset-backed securities and require banks that sell them to keep a financial involvement in their performance. As Geithner stated, “We want the regulators to have a financial interest in the development of the products they are selling to ensure they are acting honestly and focused on growth.”
Easing the Strain of the Recession
Consumers are anticipating the new plans, hoping they will offer debt relief and ease the strain of the recession. Banking Coordinator Susan Largina of Bank of America, stated, “We’re seeing a more hopeful clientele coming in. They want to believe the good news the media is interspersing throughout the daily news… It’s our job to maintain that hope by increasing the benefits and long-term viability of our banking products.”
Consumers Want Answers
With the new financial rulebook coming to the marketplace, consumers are waiting impatiently for answers. They have suffered through the economy as best they could manage, using credit cards, tapping into savings and budgeting wisely. With the recession coming to a close, consumers see debt relief as something they can reach in the near future. Hopefully with the new financial changes in the economy, banks and lending institutions will help consumers find their way back to a normal life.