Obama reveals massive overhaul of market regulations; protesters march again in Iran; Hamas will recognise Israel; BRIC countries propose new global monetary system; and more
Top of the Agenda: Obama's Financial Plan
The White House plans to announce sweeping changes today to the way the U.S. government oversees financial markets. The Wall Street Journal, based on a near-final draft of the plan, reports President Obama will press Congress to grant new powers to the Federal Reserve, and that the plan will touch nearly every corner of financial markets, from consumer protections to the regulation of complex financial products like credit derivatives. The Financial Times reports the plan leaves primary responsibility for averting future financial crises with the Fed, and creates a council of regulators and a new consumer protection regulator. It also calls for the elimination of the Office of Thrift Supervision, the article says.
Here, from the Journal, is the text of the draft of the plan (PDF).
The Washington Post says the plan "build[s] within the shell of the existing system" instead of "using a bulldozer to clear the way for fundamental reforms." The Post argues the ultimate goal of the plan is to curb the kinds of risk taking that caused the present financial turmoil.
Here, from late last year, is CFR's outline of what the U.S. financial regulatory system looked like going into the crisis, and how a handful of different agencies interacted.
This graphic from the Financial Times shows some of the problematic aspects of the current system.
CFR's Benn Steil, in a recent Council Special Report (PDF), sets out a strategy for financial regulatory reform.
The financier George Soros, writing in the Financial Times, outlines the three steps he says are key to implementing sound financial reform without going too far.
PACIFIC RIM: A Call for Monetary Diversity
Meeting in Russia, the BRIC nations (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) released a statement calling for a more diversified global monetary system, though China Daily notes they avoided any direct criticism of the world's dominant currency, the U.S. dollar.
N.KOREA-CHINA: Pyongyang denied reports (Global Times) from South Korean and Japanese media that Kim Jong-un, the likely successor to North Korea's leader Kim Jong-Il, paid a secret visit to Beijing last week.
S.KOREA-U.S.: The Korea Times reports that the presidents of South Korea and the United States, meeting in Washington, appeared unified toward North Korea but revealed few specifics about their policy intentions.