November 07, 2007

CRAPO: FINANCIAL COMPETITIVENESS REPORT UNDERSCORES NEED TO ACT

Recommendations designed to boost U.S. global financial position

Washington, DC - Idaho Senator Mike Crapo, the newly-appointed chairman of the Senate Republican Capital Markets Task Force, says a report released today adds considerably to the understanding of the challenges that American capital markets face and offers specific solutions that could help American markets, companies, and workers to better compete. Financial Services Roundtable's Blue Ribbon Commission on Enhancing Competitiveness Blueprint recommends 68 specific recommendations to ensure the U.S. position in the global financial marketplace through: (1) principles-based regulation; (2) eight "must do" reforms; and (3) modernized charters and new national charter options.

Crapo said, "Our capital markets are at a crossroads; there are major regulatory, tax and liability questions, which need to be addressed in order to ensure that U.S. capital markets remain competitive. A shrinking proportion of international companies are listing shares on U.S. stock exchanges and the fast-growing OTC derivatives market are growing more rapidly elsewhere. This blueprint lays out a clear path with specific recommendations to address the challenges that our capital markets face in intensifying global competition. I want to thank James Dimon and Richard Kovacevich, who co-chaired the report, for their efforts in bringing this information together and providing such details on how we ought to proceed. It is my hope that this report will instill a renewed sense of urgency for Congress to act."

"Britain is receiving a lot of praise for its approach through its Financial Services Authority to regulation as a model for an effective but not onerous system to oversee banks, brokers and investment funds, and one that could improve the competitive position of U.S. financial markets globally," Crapo continued. "I am very interested in the feasibility of adopting a principles-based approach to regulation, which is the report's first recommendation. It proposes a set of six guiding principles for regulators and regulated firms, but refines the recommendation to fit the U.S. legal and regulatory systems."

Crapo said the report will play a key role as Congress considers legislation to improve global competitiveness. He will continue to pursue reform efforts as a member of both the Senate Banking and Finance Committees. He concluded, "This is the fourth report in the past year providing recommendations to strengthen our nation's competitiveness, and it is my hope that this report will instill a renewed sense of urgency for Congress to act. I intend to work on legislation incorporating some of the recommendations of these four reports to remove unwarranted obstacles to innovation, efficiency, and job creation in the financial services sector."

An executive summary is available on Crapo's website, http://crapo.senate.gov, as well as links to the full report.