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Why Supervise Banks? The Foundations Of The American Monetary Settlement, Lev Menand Jan 2021

Why Supervise Banks? The Foundations Of The American Monetary Settlement, Lev Menand

Faculty Scholarship

Administrative agencies are generally designed to operate at arm’s length, making rules and adjudicating cases. But the banking agencies are different: they are designed to supervise. They work cooperatively with banks and their remedial powers are so extensive they rarely use them. Oversight proceeds through informal, confidential dialogue.

Today, supervision is under threat: banks oppose it, the banking agencies restrict it, and scholars misconstrue it. Recently, the critique has turned legal. Supervision’s skeptics draw on a uniform, flattened view of administrative law to argue that supervision is inconsistent with norms of due process and transparency. These arguments erode the intellectual …