:Do you support Elizabeth Warren as head of the
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
: The candidates I've heard mentioned for the CFPB are all well qualified. That is not the issue. Looking ahead, what we need is a CFPB that maximizes consumer well-being without imposing unnecessary burdens on the financial industry. Rules need to be rational and uniform across the industry.
:Are there some important items on the regulatory agenda coming out of the Dodd Frank legislation that you think are being overlooked?
: One that's less obvious is the importance of the Office of Financial Research. It has not received public focus, but it potentially offers a great deal of benefit. Identifying potential bubbles and disruptions in the American financial scene could be critical to preventing future melt-downs. However, it first needs to get off the ground, and, to make certain that it delivers unvarnished views, it should be independent of Treasury.
: What's your view on how new rules are progressing to oversee the derivatives market?
: Derivatives, like many modern technological products, have the potential to be good or bad. The Blanche Lincoln amendment is a mistake and ought to be repealed because the issue is not where derivatives are managed, but how they are managed. The notion that you somehow make the world a safer place by splitting those operations - with some in the bank and some out - does not solve anything. Just because they're placed in an affiliate of the bank doesn't insulate the bank, and it creates complex structures that could actually shroud problems and hinder oversight.
Written by Dan Freed in New York