FDIC seeks power to make the rules


Following the now-axiomatic advice to never let a good crisis go to waste, FDIC Vice-Chairman Martin Gruenberg is expected to ask the House Financial Services Committee today for more power to enact bank regulatory laws. The FDIC, which oversees 5,000 banks, currently doesn't have a say in the laws that it enforces.

There is no doubt that the regulatory structure needs to be reinforced. Speaking about the economy, President Obama said, "Here's a dirty little secret . . . most of the stuff that got us into trouble was perfectly legal. That's a sign of how much we have to change our laws." And the FDIC would seem to be in a perfect position to know what needs to be done. However, this could be a case of being careful what you ask for.