The Dodd-Frank financial reform law requires regulators to determine what institutions are too important to fail. Institutions deemed “systemically important financial institution,” or SIFI, will be subject to heightened regulation and oversight. Banks with at least $50 billion in assets automatically qualify. For nonbanks to be considered, the proposal says they must have at least $50 billion in assets and exposure to credit default swaps, other derivatives, or debt. Wall Street reform advocates argue the proposals from regulators overlooked many types of firms that contributed to the financial crisis. Making the determination is the Financial Stability Oversight Council – also a Dodd-Frank creation – made up of the nation’s top financial regulators, including Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner. It’s not known when the FSOC will finalize the rule, and no deadline is laid out in Dodd-Frank. Last month, Geithner said he hoped to begin designating nonbank SIFIs by the end of the year.

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