Host: American Enterprise Institute. Co-sponsors: Brooking Institution, Georgia State University. The Treasury Department’s plan to reform the federal regulatory structure for financial services has focused unusual attention on the insurance sector, which is part of the financial services industry but regulated solely at the state level. Among other things, the Treasury recommended that insurers have the option, like banks, to obtain a federal charter and be regulated solely at the federal level. This would establish a system of dual regulation—at both the federal and state levels—and would make significant changes in the competitive structure of the insurance industry. The impetus for these substantial changes, according to their proponents, comes from changes in the marketplace itself: insurance companies now compete with banks and securities firms across a broad range of activities, and in a world of globalizing financial services, the absence of a national supervisor may impair the competitive position of U.S. companies. Opponents contend that state regulation is better for U.S. consumers and is perfectly sufficient to allow insurers to compete in global markets. This conference will review some of the salient features of the insurance market and insurance regulation today.
Added by insideronline on May 11, 2008