Something that was noted by Norm Franke, of Alpine Bank, in an interview with the Sentinel, however caught my eye this morning. “We need to ask him to understand the difference between an investment bank and a community bank.” While I’m sure that Obama knows the difference, I’m not sure that voters or reporters do know the difference. Yesterday, in hearings in Washington, lawmakers grilled Obama’s financial advisers about how the Federal Reserve Bank should have done a better job of regulating derivatives.
Clearly not many people know the difference between an investment bank and a community bank, or how they are regulated. The SEC is primarily responsible for regulating investment banks, and they have been underfunded and understaffed for years. All publicly traded companies are required to file quarterly financial statements with the SEC, but the staff is so limited that the best they can do is place a tic mark in an electronic file that the report was received. How do you think that Madoff made off with millions? Community banks are regulated by different and sometimes multiple regulators.
Regulators you should know about are linked in today’s Homework.
US Securities and Exchange Commission: http://www.sec.gov/
Comptroller of the Currency: http://www.occ.treas.gov/
Office of Thrift Supervision: http://www.occ.treas.gov/
Federal Reserve System: http://www.federalreserve.gov/
National Credit Union Administration: http://www.ncua.gov/
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation: http://www.ncua.gov/
Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies, Division of banking: http://www.dora.state.co.us/banking/