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Group of 30 unveils bank regulation plans

Jan. 15, 2009 at 3:51 PM

WASHINGTON, Jan. 15 (UPI) -- An international economists group led by a U.S. adviser to President-elect Barack Obama unveiled Thursday a plan to extensively overhaul banking regulations.

The Group of 30 plan, with lead author former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker, recommended steps to limit the size and scope of banks, preventing them from reaching superstore status in a manner that could ripple through economic structures should one of them fail, The Washington Post reported.

In the plan, a form of which may make it to an international summit in London in April, banks would be prohibited from managing hedge funds or private equity funds, the Post said.

Large mutual funds, in turn, would be required to operate under the same regulatory oversight as banks. Rating agencies, the plan says, should be placed under strict regulatory control, the Post reported.

"The issue posed by the present crisis is crystal clear: How can we restore strong, competitive, innovative financial markets to support global economic growth without once again risking a breakdown in market functioning?" Volcker said in a statement.

Volcker said he would lobby for the reforms, "but it's up to the administration to decide what they want to do."

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