Business

Fed Regulation of Wall Street Banks Shifts to Washington

The building of the Federal Reserve Bank in downtown Manhattan in New York (AP Photo)
The building of the Federal Reserve Bank in downtown Manhattan in New York (AP Photo)

 

(MarketWatch) – The Federal Reserve Bank of New York, once the most feared banking regulator on Wall Street, has lost power in a behind-the-scenes reorganization at the nation’s central bank.

The Fed’s center of regulatory authority is now a little-known committee run by Fed governor Daniel Tarullo, which is calling the shots in oversight of banking titans such as Goldman Sachs Group Inc.  and Citigroup Inc.

The new structure was enshrined in a previously undisclosed paper written in 2010 known as the Triangle Document. Under the new system, Washington is at the center of bank supervision, exercising control over the Fed’s 12 reserve banks, much as the State Department exerts control over embassies.

The power shift, initiated after the financial crisis and slowly put in place over the past five years, is more than a bureaucratic change. It influences how the biggest banks on Wall Street are overseen and has begun to affect regulation in unanticipated ways across the Fed system.

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