Today, POGO sent a letter offering nine recommendations for financial reform legislation to the House and Senate conferees who will hash out the final version of the legislation. The letter outlines the strongest components of the bills passed by the House (H.R. 4173, “The Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2009”) and Senate (S. 3217, “The Restoring American Financial Stability Act of 2010”). POGO's recommendations to the conferees are as follows:
FULL TRANSPARENCY TO THE CONFERENCE PROCEEDINGS:
Make the conference proceedings fully transparent by broadcasting them on C-SPAN and webcasting them online.
- PROTECT FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY WHISTLEBLOWERS:
Extend best-practices whistleblower protections to financial services industry employees.
- AUDIT THE FEDERAL RESERVE:
Give the Government Accountability Office the authority to conduct an ongoing audit of the Federal Reserve, and require the Fed to make key information about its emergency lending programs available online.
- CREATE A STRONG AND INDEPENDENT CONSUMER FINANCIAL
Create a truly independent, standalone Consumer Financial Protection Agency with full authority to issue rules and regulations to protect consumers.
- REWARD WHISTLEBLOWERS WHO MAKE DISCLOSURES TO THE SEC AND
Expand the whistleblower bounty program at the Securities and Exchange Commission and create an identical program at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. Additionally, replace a secrecy provision and FOIA exemption with authentic whistleblower confidentiality protections.
- EXPAND SARBANES-OXLEY WHISTLEBLOWER PROTECTIONS:
Extend Sarbanes-Oxley whistleblower protections to employees of subsidiaries and affiliates of publicly traded companies, and of nationally recognized statistical rating organizations.
- ADDRESS CONFLICTS OF INTEREST AT CREDIT RATING AGENCIES:
Create a Credit Rating Agency Board to help address the basic conflict of interest arising from “ratings shopping.”
- STRENGTHEN THE INDEPENDENCE OF FINANCIAL AGENCY
Strengthen the independence of certain agency appointed Inspectors General (IGs), including the IGs at many financial regulatory agencies.
- ADDRESS CONFLICTS OF INTEREST AT FEDERAL RESERVE BANKS:
Amend the election process for directors at Federal Reserve Banks in order to limit the influence of the financial services industry.
Find out more in the full version of POGO's FinReg manifesto here.