In an article by JON HILSENRATH that appears in the Journal, we note that World Bank President Robert Zoellick questioned the wisdom of giving the Federal Reserve more power over banks, as the Obama administration has proposed.
In the text of a speech he is to deliver Monday at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies of Johns Hopkins University, Mr. Zoellick says central banks around the world fell down as regulators — and that the Treasury, which is more accountable to Congress, should be given the authority to regulate big financial institutions, not the Fed.
We concur, given that the Treasury Department is subject to more oversight, and often speaks with greater clarity. Law enforcement divisions of the Treasury also seem like they can get the job done in a coordinated orderly manner.
Perhaps that point alone is enough to make Zoellick’s point. It also guarantees an internal fight within our government as the Fed suddenly wants a chance to perform. Where was the Fed during the Enron, subprime, and Madoff scandals?