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April 15, 2013

Why regulation shouldn’t be complex | Keep It Simple

"In Financial Reform, Keep It Simple Like Glass-Steagall". This title caught my eye as I was checking on the news this morning and just highlighted what I have been thinking each time I tried to go through the endless pages of the Dodd Frank Act (DFA). Why does regulation need to be so complex and written in such a way that only regulators understand it? If I wished to play the devil's advocate I would say that the difference in page length between Glass-Steagall and the DFA is something that can be justified since the capital market is not the same since 1933 and especially the OTC market has evolved tremendously throughout the years. But the question still remains: do we need a complex regulation to ring-fence a complex market? According to Andrew Haldane, head of financial stability for the Bank of England, complex regulation is not only burdensome, but also ineffective, you can see his recent speech here on this topic. And maybe large firms can afford such cost but this doesn't apply to smaller market participants too. What is the added value? I don't get it…….The regulation meant to safeguard the Financial System, improve transparency and eliminate systemic risk. If the risk still remains concentrated in Dealer banks as it's hard for others to enforce and implement and try to find ways to avoid it, then what's the point? Maria L.


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