Today, Chairman Bernanke and Chair Bair took on numerous hot regulatory issues, with Ms. Bair doing so at her last hearing before she resigns. A hot topic is the SIFI surcharge, with Ms. Bair again supporting a stringent three percent SIFI surcharge. During his press conference, Mr. Bernanke took a more muted tone, arguing for stiff capital standards and some sort of surcharge, but also making clear that a balance must be struck to ensure that higher capital rules do not undermine recovery. He also reiterated concern that all of the pending rules could have a combined, unintended impact. At the hearing before the TARP Subcommittee of the House Government Oversight Committee, Chairman McHenry (R-NC) indicated that he had asked the industry to appear, but that it seemed unwilling to take on Ms. Bair. Client Report CAPITAL176 analyzes the hearing, during which Ms. Bair did indicate some willingness to consider further study to assess the cumulative impact of all the pending systemic rules.
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