THE Treasury Blueprint

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Description: Steve Bartlett, president and CEO of Financial Services Roundtable, sees the US Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr plan -- officially known as "The Department of the Treasury Blueprint for a Modernized Financial Regulatory Structure" -- quite differently. Proponents of the Treasury blueprint are quick to point to the subprime mortgage crisis as justification for the most drastic and far-reaching change in the nation's financial regulatory architecture since the Great Depression. Among the blueprint's intermediate recommendations would be the phasing out of the federal savings association charter, established in 1933 to provide a stable source of funding for home mortgage lending. The blueprint's rationale is that the importance of federal thrifts as a source of mortgage funding has gradually diminished in recent years, even as the thrift industry itself has shrunk. With a presidential election just months away, there is little likelihood that Congress will consider the Treasury blueprint in 2008.
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