Wall Street Journal – Letter to the Editor

Appearing today in the Wall Street Journal, SIFMA President & CEO Tim Ryan responded to Cass Sunstein’s May 1 Op-Ed: “The White House vs. Red Tape”

To the Editor:

Cass Sunstein trumpets the Obama administration’s efforts to harmonize U.S. and foreign regulations but offers no justification or even mention of the fact that the president’s new executive order blatantly exempts one business sector that employs millions of Americans: financial services.

The order effectively excludes the Dodd-Frank reforms and most other financial-services-related regulations from this harmonization effort. Dodd-Frank must work within a larger global regulatory network. Harmonization of international regulations is an important objective to guard against regulatory arbitrage, to ensure seamless regulatory cooperation in the event of a crisis and to ensure a fair and level global playing field. For example, orderly liquidation of global firms and central clearing requirements for most derivatives are part of the mandate from the G-20 and will require close cross-border coordination.

If any area of cross-border regulatory harmonization deserves the administration’s focus it is financial services. To do otherwise is in direct conflict with the direction of the G-20 as the result of American leadership.

We encourage the administration to include financial services in its global regulatory harmonization efforts. Anything less seems blatantly political and wrong.

Tim Ryan
Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association