What do Alaska's members of Congress have to say about the need for tighter rules on the nation's financial industry, to prevent a repeat meltdown of the nation's economy?
The Daily News asked all three members for brief email statements on the subject. Here's what they had to say, in full:
SEN. LISA MURKOWSKI: “I understand that the Senate Banking Committee is working on its own financial overhaul package. I look forward to reviewing the details of that plan. At the heart of the issue, we need to make sure that banks are operating in a safe and sound manner. However, we must also guard against over regulation that could unnecessarily stifle capital formation and innovation, thereby slowing economic growth and job creation.
“In addition, we must be mindful of the potential for unintended consequences that come with major reform of our regulatory system. We need to ensure that the abuses we saw with the largest financial institutions are addressed while at the same time making sure that the reforms don't push the smaller community banks out of business. They weren't the bad actors who brought about the financial chaos.”
REP. DON YOUNG:
As Congress considers the largest overhaul of our financial system since the Savings and Loan Crisis, we must be cautious. In this “rush to regulation,” Congress may in fact make doing business more costly, further tighten credit markets and hurt the very people that it is trying to help. Before passing new regulations, we should first find out why our existing regulations failed and if it was an enforcement issue. Only then can we focus on if we need new or improved regulations. Overall, I believe that all regulations should be limited and focused so as not to overly interfere with market forces."
SEN. MARK BEGICH:
I’m a strong believer in America’s free enterprise system. But the international recession we’re currently suffering from was due, at least in part, to financial regulators either being asleep at the switch or regulations that were too lax to apply to these on-the-edge financial instruments and over-leveraging. Both Congress and the Obama administration are looking at ways to strengthen both our policing of existing laws and new laws which may be necessary.
For example, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner already has advanced a proposal to bring better transparency to the over-the-counter derivatives market. It would take the “wild west market” and run it through it through a clearing house to make sure transactions are legitimate.
Congress must ensure there are adequate leverage levels so we are never put in a situation like this again where over-leveraged banks are a major catalyst of the credit crunch and mortgage crisis.
I also support salary caps for those whose companies have received federal bail out money, until the debt/loan is paid back.
- 30 -