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IMF Cites US Big 5 Bank Consolidation and Regulatory Unclarity

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, August 2 -- When the International Monetary Fund passes judgment on major funder and host the United States, it treads lightly. On a August 2 embargoed conference call, Inner City Press asked Gian Maria Milesi Ferretti, Assistant Director of the IMF's Western Hemisphere Department, what recommendations the IMF has for US financial regulation.

The IMF official's response cited the disputes pending about the Qualified Residential Mortgage (QRM) and the QM, and said that faster decisions and "clarity" would be good. But he quickly said that this is not the major "headwind" on the housing market.

He did say that there is a reduction in competition due to consolidation -- read, the Big Four, now Big Five, US banks -- and a high volume of foreclosures. But the IMF was nowhere near as prescriptive as it is with other countries.

They referred to the "financial cliff" which was pushed back to 2013 by the last failed negotiation. Ah, election years... Watch this site.

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Click here for Sept 26, 2011 New Yorker on Inner City Press at UN

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