WASHINGTON — Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., pressed his case for creating a single regulator to oversee U.S. banks during a Senate hearing Tuesday.
In prepared remarks, Dodd argued a single bank regulator would eliminate the redundancies created by multiple bank supervisors as well as end the "pass-the-buck excuses" policy makers have encountered during the financial crisis.
He also suggested he wouldn't be daunted by warnings that radically streamlining regulation would be too politically difficult to achieve.
"That argument doesn't work terribly well with me" or other members of this panel, Dodd said.
Dodd drew support for his approach from Eugene Ludwig, the former U.S. comptroller of the currency who was a witness before the panel.
The U.S. should create a "single, world-class, financial-institution-specific, end-to-end regulator at the federal level while retaining the dual banking system," Ludwig said.
He added said that a "failure to act boldly and wisely" to revamp financial rules could cause the U.S. to lose its leadership in this area and risk future financial crises.
The Senate Banking Committee has been working for weeks on legislation to rewrite financial industry rules. It is unclear how much the legislation will draw from a blueprint for a regulatory overhaul issued by the Obama administration.
Dodd suggested an administration proposal to give the Federal Reserve new powers to spot and stamp out threats to the financial system is inferior to creating a single bank regulator.
"We don't need a super-regulator with many missions, but a single federal bank regulator whose sole focus is the safe and sound operation of the nation's banks," he said.