*U.S. lawmakers eager to act on systemic risk - Volcker
*Volcker says: “Not too fast”
WASHINGTON, March 24 (Reuters) - U.S. policymakers and lawmakers should refrain from acting too hastily in creating a systemic risk regulator, former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker said on Tuesday.
Volcker, a senior economic adviser to the Obama administration, said U.S. lawmakers are very eager to create a systemic risk regulator for financial institutions in response to the current financial crisis.
“There’s a great urge to get it done,” Volcker told a conference hosted by the Wall Street Journal, adding there remain disagreements among some policymakers, lawmakers and the markets on the role of such a regulator and who should hold that power.
Until a consensus has been reached, Volcker said, major participants in Washington should move with caution. “My personal feeling is ‘not too fast’,” he said.
The Obama administration wants to move toward establishing a systemic risk regulator and the Fed, so far, appears to be the leading candidate but some in Washington, such as Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd, has questioned whether the central bank is up to the task.
Dodd, a Connecticut Democrat, has suggested that Fed, which also has responsibilities as a banking regulator, might have to shed its consumer protection authority.
The idea of systemic risk regulation is a major part of an broader push in Congress, which is controlled by Democrats, to reform financial regulation.
At the conference, Volcker said he did not consider the U.S. capital markets “at the core of the system,” adding that he did not think capital markets needed to be regulated to the same extent as the banking system. (Reporting by John Poirier; Editing by Tim Dobbyn)