Three Notes on the Federal Reserve and Financial Services Reform

As I have said before, it doesn’t matter who the next Fed Chairman is, because all of the candidates are basically the same when it comes to monetary policy.  There are no hard money candidates.  So, with the announcement that the reappointment of Ben Bernanke is likely, we can all breathe a sigh of relief because Larry Summers won’t be there (ego kills), and, Ben Bernanke is a known quantity.

On another front, a Federal judge ruled that the Fed would have to turn over data requested by Bloomberg, LP, regarding the emergency lending programs that the Fed has entered into.  Good thing, as I have said before, there is no reason why banks can’t disclose their asset books as insurers do.

Finally, Paul Volcker wants to regulate money market funds like single purpose banks.  Interesting idea, but money market funds have suffered far fewer losses than regulated banks.  I would pass on this idea, and look for more substantive ways to modify the financial system — as an example, make banks as transparent and complete in their regulatory filings as insurance companies.  Now, that would be real reform.