WASHINGTON — Federal Reserve Board Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer said Friday that the Dodd-Frank Act has addressed the biggest issues with bank instability but that the "shadow banking" sector industry still needs to be addressed.
"I am pretty sure that the big goals of reform regulation that took place in Dodd-Frank have been achieved in certain areas, namely the banking sector," Fischer said at an Institute of International Finance conference.
But he said he worries "a little bit" that "we in the United States do not have very good measures for dealing with the nonbanking sector — the shadow banking system" that includes asset managers, hedge funds, private equity firms and other nonbank financial firms.
"The public sector doesn't have a whole lot of information about what is going on in various sectors which are very active in the shadow banking system," Fischer said. "We also have in the United States relatively few tools to deal with this."
Fischer's remarks echo Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton's views on financial regulation. She has said she would defend Dodd-Frank but go further by regulating shadow banks.
One of the biggest criticisms of Dodd-Frank, however, is that it hasn't solved the "too big to fail" problem. Critics contend that some banks are still too big and could bring down the economy if they were to become insolvent.
But Fischer criticized that idea.
"The regulator or an intelligence agency never knows whether it has solved a particular problem and if they tell you we have the 'too big to fail' problem," then someone should "get somebody else" to do the job, he said.
Some observers, including bank executives, have said that regulation may also be slowing the economy.
Fischer didn't address that idea directly but said, "I am impressed by how much you hear about it and it is certainly something that at some point somebody who is serious about growth is going to have to go through the regulatory framework and figure out how to change it."
Republicans have also proposed that regulators conduct a cost-benefit analysis when writing new rules, but Fischer said while in theory it's a good idea, it doesn't work well in practice.
"There is a lot of desire to have cost-benefit analysis of every regulatory measure. … The trouble is these analyses are very imprecise," Fischer said.