WASHINGTON — Having a single, independent regulator to oversee credit unions, banks and investment firms “may make sense” given the connections between financial markets, Securities and Exchange Commissioner Luis Aguilar recently said.Speaking at a securities litigation and regulatory practice seminar in Atlanta, Aguilar said the market crisis has financial experts and legislators revisiting the regulatory structure associated with financial markets.“Currently, many agencies oversee banks, another regulates credit unions, the SEC regulates securities markets and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission plays a role in financial futures, and as I’ve said, nobody regulates a current area of concern: credit default swaps,” Aguilar said.Aguilar said all of the regulators could do a better job of communicating with each other. While the SEC has initiated memorandums of understanding with the CFTC, Federal Reserve and the Departments of Labor and Treasury, “more still needs to be done to make sure that regulators are working effectively in concert.”“Anyone who is currently watching the news understands that the lack of transparency in our capital markets is a major factor driving the requests for greater regulation,” Aguilar said.Still, regulators may have to brace for the possibility.“Today’s financial markets are so interconnected that centralized oversight by a single independent regulator may make sense,” Aguilar said. “The commission recognizes that our world is shrinking and that financial markets are interconnected in a Gordian knot.”

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Peter Westerman


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