Great piece in today’s WSJ urging caution before rushing toward a single federal banking regulator.

Money quote:

A move toward complete centralization would be a serious mistake. In an increasingly complex financial-services landscape, we need the local perspective for early detection of emerging risks. States like New York and North Carolina sounded the first alarm on predatory lending issues more than 10 years ago. Unfortunately, instead of cooperating, the primary federal regulators — the Comptroller of the Currency and the Office of Thrift Supervision — thwarted state efforts as far back as 2003 by aggressively asserting that federal law pre-empts state law. This exacerbated the subprime crisis by allowing federal banks and thrifts to avoid state antipredatory lending laws.

Well worth reading, given the serious implications of regulation centralization on real estate finance.