Write banking rules that withstand political winds
By Karen Petrou
Leveling the financial-regulatory playing field requires a complete rewrite of U.S. financial services law, action that would be stoutly and effectively resisted by battalions of well-paid lobbyists. A politically plausible approach to reducing many of the regulatory hills and raising up the valleys instead uses the body of current law to the greatest extent possible to allow access to taxpayer-backed benefits only to companies that are directly (or indirectly) bound by the rules established to protect taxpayers and the nation more generally. There is, though, a middle and more practical course. It does four things: applies like-kind rules to like-kind activities; reduces unnecessary barriers to financial services for underserved or at-risk households; creates special-purpose, regulated charters focused solely on equality finance under rules ensuring that regulatory rewards are obtained only upon providing high-value equality services; and designs a new payment system that includes digital currency crafted with equality objectives kept firmly in mind.