Het wereldwijde variététheater van financiële toezichthouders

PARIJS – In de beginstadia van de financiële crisis werd vaak gepleit voor een fundamentele en structurele herziening van het Amerikaanse toezichtsysteem. Verschillen van mening tussen de Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) en de Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) hadden een doeltreffend toezicht op investment banks en derivatenhandel immers in de weg gestaan. (Alleen in de Verenigde Staten worden afzonderlijke toezichthouders voor effecten (de SEC) en derivaten (de CFTC) zinnig geacht.)

Er waren destijds afzonderlijke banktoezichthouders in overvloed en die situatie bood banken mogelijkheden om behendig door het systeem manoeuvrerend op zoek te gaan naar gunstigere kapitaaleisen. Ook in de VS werkte het systeem met meerdere toezichthouders contraproductief. Daar had het ontbreken van een federale toezichthouder voor verzekeringsmaatschappijen ertoe geleid dat AIG onder het toezicht van de Office of Thrift Supervision (OTS, de toezichthouder op spaarbanken) én het New York State Insurance Department (een verzekeringstoezichthouder op deelstaatniveau) viel. Die constructie bleek uiteindelijk volslagen ontoereikend te zijn.

Maar van al die betogen vóór herziening van het toezichtsysteem is uiteindelijk weinig terechtgekomen. In de VS slaagde de Dodd-Frank Act er weliswaar in om de OTS uit zijn lijden te verlossen, maar afgunstige toezichtcommissies van het Congres staken vervolgens een stokje voor een fusie van de SEC en de CFTC. En er werd helemaal niets gedaan om het bankentoezicht doeltreffender te maken. Al met al hebben de Verenigde Staten nog steeds min of meer hetzelfde systeem: datgene dat aan het begin van de 21e eeuw collectief de ogen sloot voor het ontstaan van allerlei fricties met alle noodlottige gevolgen van dien.

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