Investor protection and financial reform: These are the timely topics of heated debates among Washington lawmakers and individual investors here on Fool.com.
Later today, The Motley Fool will make Main Street's concerns heard when we ask Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Neal Wolin (Timothy Geithner's No. 2 in the Treasury Department) the questions you want answered.
This is part of our effort to continue to make sure our community of Fools has a say on legislation that affects our portfolios. And the Treasury has reached out to us to hear what Fools have to say. So -- as we did in talking to the White House two weeks ago -- we want your questions about investor protection and financial reform.
A call for Fools' questions
Last week, the House Financial Services Committee voted in favor of the Consumer Financial Protection Agency Act of 2009; this week, the committee is tackling legislation on investor protection and the capital markets.
Some of the proposed issues include:
- Establishing a fiduciary duty for brokers, dealers, and investment advisors
- Protecting whistleblowers
- Creating a permanent investor advisory committee
- Dealing with systemic risks posed by securitization and the phenomenon of "too big to fail"
- Making it easier for the government to seize and clean up failing non-bank financial institutions such as the next Lehman Brothers or AIG
(NYSE:AIG), similar to the process currently used for failing retail banks
- Tougher oversight of methodologies, corporate governance practices, and conflicts of interest at ratings agencies like Moody's
(NYSE:MCO), Fitch, and McGraw-Hill's (NYSE:MHP)Standard & Poor's
- Bringing private pools of capital under a regulatory eye
- Further empowering the SEC (and increasing the agency's funding)