Sheila Bair to lead private financial risk council
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Sheila Bair, who helped steer the financial system through the recent credit crisis, is forming a new private-sector group called the Systemic Risk Council to try to accelerate reforms.
A former chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp, Bair will team up with former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker, former Commodity Futures Trading Commission Chairman Brooksley Born and other experts to advise current regulators about risks to financial markets.
"As evidenced by the 2008 crisis and even recent headlines, we need a more effective and efficient early-warning system to detect issues that jeopardize the functioning of financial markets before they disrupt credit flows to the real economy," Bair said in a statement.
Bair left her FDIC post last year and now is a senior advisor to the Pew Charitable Trusts, which is helping to form the Systemic Risk Council.
During the 2007-2009 financial crisis, Bair was an outspoken critic of Wall Street executives and often clashed with other regulators who were more supportive of taxpayer bailouts of banks and other financial institutions.
According to a release on Wednesday, the Systemic Risk Council will monitor and issue reports on the activities of regulators created by the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform law to monitor financial risks, namely the Financial Stability Oversight Council, or FSOC, and the Office of Financial Research.
FSOC is headed by the Treasury Department and is supposed to serve as a forum for top financial regulators to share information and cooperate on rulemaking.
The group has been criticized for operating largely in secret and for being slow to designate big financial firms as "systemic" -- a tag that comes with additional supervision and other reforms that some institutions see as burdensome.
Regulators have missed dozens of deadlines to finalize reforms called for in Dodd-Frank, including rules that will add oversight to the opaque $700 trillion over-the-counter derivatives market and the Volcker rule, which bans banks from making speculative trades with their own funds.
Regulators have also been criticized for not raising red flags earlier about JPMorgan Chase & Co's (JPM.N) recent failed hedging strategy, which has led to at least $2 billion in trading losses.
"Despite the magnitude of the financial crisis, prospects for major reform of regulatory systems are inadequate and vague," said John Rogers, president of CFA Institute, which is also helping form the Systemic Risk Council.
The group will hold a "call to action" event on June 18 to lay out their objectives and future plans.
(Reporting By Karey Wutkowski; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)
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