With the new year, the Financial Stability Oversight Council has greater opportunity to take leadership roles in other areas.

The interagency council, headed by Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, is already trying to reform the $2.9 trillion money market mutual fund industry.

"If the council, which focused on the money market sector only after the Securities and Exchange Commission tabled a reform plan, can succeed in spurring regulation of the funds, it would demonstrate a real intent by the multi-regulator body to push a reform agenda when single agencies cannot on their own," writes American Banker's Donna Borak.

"It's absolutely the first time the FSOC is trying to act in that manner and I think we're testing out the infrastructure, the pipes," Mary Miller, Treasury undersecretary for domestic finance, said in an interview. "We're running the plays that were anticipated in the legislation, and inevitably while you're doing that you're learning things while you're doing it. If this is a successful endeavor in advancing money market reform, then I think it does speak well of the FSOC's ability to provide support for an agency to move forward."

The 2010 Dodd-Frank Act mandated the FSOC ensure systemic events do not cripple financial markets.

Observers say the FSOC's recent efforts demonstrate its ability to take a greater leadership role in other areas. It is unclear where the council's focus will be once it completes the main assignment of designating big nonbanks firms for special systemic-risk supervision under Dodd-Frank.

For the full piece see "New Year Gives FSOC More Chances to Flex Muscle" (may require subscription).