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Regulators must monitor more than big banks to avoid systemic failure
By Karen Petrou
Federal banking agencies are fiercely waging what some big banks consider a jihad mandating tough new rules. Some of the rules are warranted, some not. Regardless, what’s completely missing and all too essential is action on all the other manifest threats that aren’t big banks. Indeed, one looming nonbank’s systemic merger poses a clear and present danger: Intercontinental Exchange Inc. (ICE). ICE, an already-systemic global clearing and settlement powerhouse, is now poised to gain still greater control over critical portals across the even more systemic $12 trillion mortgage market through a merger with real estate software company Black Knight. So much could go so wrong so fast if ICE is allowed to complete its acquisition of Black Knight that, should this occur, the firm as a whole must quickly be designated a systemic financial market utility and regulated as such by the Federal Reserve.