Treasury Issues Markets Structure Review


Released on what is commonly known as “take out the trash day,” the US Department of Treasury has published its anticipated review of the US market structure.

The 220-page report follows the 147-page report on banks and credit unions, which Treasury officials released on June 12. Both documents are the results of an executive order signed by President Trump in mid-February. The order instructed the Treasury consult with the members of the Financial Stability Oversight Council and publish reviews of the US financial system by segment regarding their ability to empower Americans to make informed, independent financial decisions, prevent future taxpayer-funded bailouts, and analyze regulatory impact regarding systemic risk and market failures.

The executive order also seeks to enable US companies to be competitive with foreign firms domestically and overseas, advance US interests in international financial regulatory negotiation, restore public accountability within the Federal financial regulatory agencies, and rationalize the Federal financial regulatory framework.

The omnibus review covers the commodity, credit, derivatives, and equities markets as well as asset management, central clearing, depository system, and insurance industry and non-bank financial institutions.

The report’s authors wrote that certain elements of the capital markets regulatory framework are functioning well and support healthy capital markets.

However, they also noted that regulators and the industry need to address several issues.

“For some elements, more action is needed to guard against the risks of a future financial crisis,” the authors added. “Other elements need better calibration and tailoring to help markets function more effectively for market participants. There are significant challenges with regulatory harmonization and efficiency, driven by a variety of factors including joint rulemaking responsibilities, overlapping mandates, and jurisdictional friction.”

In the meantime, it did not take long for industry insiders and watchers took to Twitter to share their initial thoughts on the review, especially regarding the equities market.

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