Rodge Cohen Interviewed by Bloomberg TV About U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner’s Remarks on Wall Street Reform

August 2, 2010
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Mr. Cohen was interviewed on August 2 by Bloomberg TV about U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner's remarks on the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act at New York University's Leonard N. Stern School of Business. Mr. Cohen, who was in the audience for Secretary Geithner's speech, said, “The secretary made clear that there would be rigorous regulatory reform but that it would be balanced with a clear effort to make sure it did not crimp down so much on the banking business that it would hurt the economy.”

When asked about the act's implications for consolidation among financial institutions, Mr. Cohen said, “I think we will start inevitably to see consolidation once the general environment improves and there is more confidence… It's going to be slow, it's going to be evolutionary.” As for financing for the housing industry, he said he believed there needs to be more immediate action. “In order to reform the GSEs [Government-Sponsored Enterprises], I believe we must create a vibrant housing market outside of the GSEs,” he said.

Mr. Cohen hailed business tax credits as a “positive, particularly for the small businesses, which are the backbone of this country's economy.” On the subject of the formation of new capital, he said, “all in all, the regulatory reform will encourage the formation of capital and the flow of capital into financial services industry.” Mr. Cohen concluded, “I believe that the secretary was indicating that this was not about being punitive, it was about getting the economy moving forward. I think the measured nature of his remarks should be heartening to all those who believe we need a strong financial system.”