Bernanke urges Congress to enact reforms

Federal Reserve chief says the financial crisis is waning and urges lawmakers to reform the system to help prevent future turmoil.

EMAIL  |   PRINT  |   SHARE  |   RSS
 
google my aol my msn my yahoo! netvibes
Paste this link into your favorite RSS desktop reader
See all CNNMoney.com RSS FEEDS (close)
By Ben Rooney, CNNMoney.com staff reporter

New Orleans: A snapshot
Key financial firms received a wide range of assistance during the past year. But scroll over their stocks and you’ll find few winners – and plenty of losers. More
What do you think is the most important quality in a job?
  • Satisfying work
  • Good pay and benefits
  • Flexible hours
  • Growth opportunities

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke said Friday that the turmoil in the financial system is "abating," but urged lawmakers to enact comprehensive reforms to help prevent future crises.

Bernanke said legislative action is needed to ensure that banks have sufficient capital reserves, and to limit the risks that financial institutions can take.

The Fed chief also called on Congress to create new mechanisms to deal with the systemic risks posed by financial institutions deemed "too big to fail."

Bernanke was speaking in Chatham, Mass., at a conference sponsored by the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, which was entitled "After the Fall -- Re-evaluating Supervisory, Regulatory, and Monetary Policy."

"All financial regulators, including of course the Federal Reserve, must take a hard look at the experience of the past two years, correct identified shortcomings, and improve future performance," Bernanke said.

While policy makers have made progress toward securing a sustained economic recovery, Bernanke said additional regulatory steps need to be taken to ensure a sound economic future.

"Regulators and supervisors can do a great deal, but comprehensive financial reform requires action by the Congress," he said.

The remarks came one day after the Federal Reserve proposed a review of pay practices at 28 of the nation's largest banks to make sure employees are not tempted to make the kinds of risky bets that helped sink firms such as Lehman Brothers.

"Compensation, not only at the top but throughout a banking organization, should appropriately link pay to performance and provide sound incentives," Bernanke said.

Bernanke also said more should be done to help protect consumers from "unfair and deceptive practices." He said the Fed has written rules providing "strong substantive protections" for mortgage borrowers and credit card users.

"We have seen that flawed financial instruments can both harm families and impair financial stability," the official said.

Building on the success of this year's bank stress tests, Bernanke said the central bank will conduct "more frequent, broader, and more comprehensive" examinations of the U.S. financial system.

Bernanke said a new "resolution regime" is necessary to wind down non-bank financial firms, such as insurance companies, that could destabilize the financial system and the economy. Any costs resulting from such a resolution should be paid by the financial industry and not the taxpayers, he added.  To top of page

Features
They're hiring!These Fortune 100 employers have at least 350 openings each. What are they looking for in a new hire? More
If the Fortune 500 were a country...It would be the world's second-biggest economy. See how big companies' sales stack up against GDP over the past decade. More
Sponsored By:
More Galleries
A cheapskate's guide to tech From ebooks to phone service, here are some tips for living your digital life on the cheap. More
2015 Mustang's asphalt-peeling power goes modern The new Ford Mustang has been upgraded and updated to compete globally - but never fear, it's still a monster. More
15 top executives with $1 salaries Some CEOs and founders agree to salaries of just $1 a year. But once goodies like bonuses and stock options are added in, some of those executives end up taking home many millions of dollars a year. More
Worry about the hackers you don't know 
Crime syndicates and government organizations pose a much greater cyber threat than renegade hacker groups like Anonymous. Play
GE CEO: Bringing jobs back to the U.S. 
Jeff Immelt says the U.S. is a cost competitive market for advanced manufacturing and that GE is bringing jobs back from Mexico. Play
Hamster wheel and wedgie-powered transit 
Red Bull Creation challenges hackers and engineers to invent new modes of transportation. Play

Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.