Regulatory Reform: It's Time ... But is There Time?
The premise of the piece is 'OK, we all agree that cybersecurity is a hot issue, but can we get any serious new legislation passed before the mid-term elections?'
Eric and his sources make a great point. The window to get anything done in this congressional session is frighteningly narrow. When the current snow banks melt in Washington, D.C., you may already see the first signs for the fall campaigns.
When you start thinking about merging regulatory reform proposals and devising a unified vision ... it sounds daunting.
So, of course, it occurs to me: Is banking regulatory reform any different?
I don't know that we all agree that reform is needed. There are plenty of folks like Alex Sanchez, head of the Florida Bankers Association, who feel that Main Street banking institutions are being unfairly swept up in a storm created on Wall Street.
But I think we can agree that reform is coming. Now that President Obama's healthcare reform initiative has seemingly fallen flat, attention has turned back to financial regulatory reform - a topic where lawmakers apparently believe they can build more consensus. As former FDIC executive Christie Sciacca recently told me, "There might be stronger regulatory reform than people thought six months ago."
And yet, as with cybersecurity, you've got a lot of conflicting proposals to sift through. When you talk about regulatory reform, there's the Obama Administration's vision, the Sen. Dodd proposal (in whatever form that is today), the House version ... and then whatever else comes along to muddy the waters.
When you start thinking about merging these proposals and devising a unified vision that can pass the House, Senate and President's desk - oh, and still do the job it's intended to do, by the way - and to get all this done before lawmakers get distracted by re-election or the next big crisis (whichever comes first) ... it sounds daunting.
Or as James Lewis, senior fellow at the public policy group Center for Strategic and International Studies, says in Eric Chabrow's aforementioned article: "Congressmen have to pay attention to being re-elected. So sometime, starting in probably August, their attention will be focused on the election, and that means the CPU time available for significant new legislation will decrease."
Lewis was talking about cybersecurity, but can't the same be said for financial regulatory reform?