Tags: ben bernanke | elizabeth warren | federal reserve | lending

Bernanke: Warren's Fed Lending Bill Like 'Shutting Down the Fire Department to Encourage Fire Safety'

By    |   Friday, 15 May 2015 04:09 PM

Former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke has harshly criticized a bill unveiled this week by two U.S. senators that would curb the central bank’s power to provide emergency lending during a financial crisis.

The bipartisan bill, introduced by Senators David Vitter and Elizabeth Warren, that would require a publicly recorded vote by the Fed board on the resolution of any enforcement action that includes $1 million or more in payments.

Their proposal comes as the Senate Banking Committee prepares to hash out a larger bill that aims to bring regulatory relief across the financial industry and to increase transparency of financial regulators, Reuters reported.

Bernanke called the plan from Sens. Vitter (R., La.) and Warren (D., Mass.) “roughly equivalent to shutting down the fire department to encourage fire safety.”

“If enacted, the bill would further restrict the Federal Reserve’s emergency lending powers in a financial crisis,” he wrote in a post Friday on his Brookings Institution blog.

“That would be a mistake, one that would imprudently limit the Fed’s ability to protect the economy in a financial panic.”

“Their goal, I assume, is to induce financial firms and market participants to be less reliant on possible government help, for example, by holding more cash to protect against possible runs and panics,” he said.

“But their approach is roughly equivalent to shutting down the fire department to encourage fire safety; or — more relevant to the current context — eliminating deposit insurance so that banks will be more careful. Rather than eliminating the fire department, it’s better to toughen the fire code.”

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Former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke has harshly criticized a bill unveiled this week by two U.S. senators that would curb the central bank's power to provide emergency lending during a financial crisis.
ben bernanke, elizabeth warren, federal reserve, lending
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2015-09-15
Friday, 15 May 2015 04:09 PM
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