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Cuomo pulls back on banking oversight

Feb 23, 2011 4:30 pm
[caption id="" align="alignright" width="200" caption="Instead of pulling back on education, health and other service cuts, Gov. Andrew Cuomo's first major budget changes were to lighten oversight plas for Wall Street and the banking industry."][/caption]So Gov. Andrew Cuomo has already started shifting his budget, even before formal negotiations have begun up in the state capitol's red room on his plan for major cuts designed to stem rising shortfalls. BUt where did he begin? Despite wide worries regarding education hits and cuts to other services, from health to reining in domestic violence, the governor's first change was to pull back on his designs for a new state agency regulating both banking and insurance. According to the Albany Business Journal, Cuomo revealed the changes Wednesday, February 23 in amendments made to his $132.9 billion budget proposal, stating that he wants to combine the state’s banking and insurance departments into a new Department of Financial Regulation. He contends one super-agency will be better-suited to regulate increasingly complex financial markets, rather than multiple agencies doing their own thing. And yet Cuomo has scaled back his plans in response to lobbying from the banking, insurance and securities industries. "These amendments represent a significant improvement," said Michael Smith, president and CEO of the New York Bankers Association. "We’re clearly moving in the right direction." He has until late next week to make any further changes, when a legislative hearing on the proposal is set for March 7, in Albany.