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The FSOB's guidelines will be of some relief to brokers, according to Crosthwait, who claimed that the quantitative analysis prescribed should be no more onerous for smaller brokerages than for larger firms.
Even if one makes that presumption, however, it is unclear whether the FSOB is intended to be a subunit within the Department of the Treasury or some other agency, or whether the board is intended to be a free-standing, independent entity.
The listed responsibilities of the FSOB (in Section 104(a) of the act) and the COB (in Sections 125(b) and (e) of the act) are similar both in general and with regard to particular elements.
The act provides the FSOB no similar right to information from federal departments or agencies, and there does not appear to be any obligation on the part of those departments or agencies to provide that information to the FSOB.
As noted previously, Section 104(b) of the act states that the FSOB is comprised of the heads of five executive branch departments or agencies: the Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Secretary of the Treasury, the Director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, the Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, and the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.
Section 104(c) of the act specifies that the chairperson of the FSOB is elected by the members of the board, but the act excludes the Secretary of the Treasury from having a vote in that election.
The act is silent regarding pay for members of the FSOB, but presumably they would simply receive their regular salaries as the heads of the five agencies.
Section 104(d) of the act requires the FSOB to meet two weeks after the first exercise of purchase authority of the Secretary of the Treasury, and monthly thereafter.
The act does not mention whether and, if so, how the FSOB is to be staffed or paid, and does not indicate whether it can hire experts or consultants.
Section 104(g) of the act requires the FSOB to report to the "appropriate committees" of Congress (15) at least quarterly regarding the implementation of its responsibilities, but the act does not specifically indicate when those responsibilities begin.
The act does not require the FSOB to be the recipient of any reports prepared by other entities, but several provisions in the act specify that certain reports are to be sent to the COP.
The act does not indicate whether and, if so, how the FSOB is to be funded.
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