Two thoughts: First, the very active role of the Fed in the Bear Stearns crisis must,
in the long run, give rise to a fundamental revaluation of the role and
powers of the SEC, the entity technically responsible for investment
banks. The SEC now appears relatively toothless.
Second, the more commitments made by the Fed, the more we lose the
(quasi) independence of our central bank; for a large commitment
Treasury sign-off is needed. The realignment of the regulatory
universe will eventually emerge as a big story from the current crisis,
though it is hardly commanding much attention right now.
Paul Volcker comments.