William H. Schorling, a shareholder and Executive Committee member of the Bankruptcy and Creditors' Rights Section at Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney's Philadelphia office, was quoted in a June 25, 2009, article published by Complinet, a daily securities and banking regulatory news service. The article, titled "Bankruptcy experts question wisdom of giving SEC power to resolve 'too-big-to-fail' firms," discussed whether the Securities and Exchange Commission is the best choice to resolve a "too-big-to-fail" bank holding company-securities brokerage combination.
As noted in the article, some oppose "letting the SEC be the conservator or receiver of a too-big-to-fail bank holding company or securities firm because it would present a conflict of interest."
"The SEC has been criticized in the media for oversight and regulatory shortcomings regarding the failure of several brokerage or securities companies, such as Bear Stearns and Lehman Bros," said Glover Roberts, past president of the Association of Former Bankruptcy Judges. "If it failed to adequately do its duty in these instances, it most certainly should not be the party to serve as a conservator or receiver for an entity that it failed to regulate properly. Allowing this agency to serve as a conservator or receiver is hardly the appointment of an impartial overseer."
On the other hand, Schorling, who chairs the American Bar Association bankruptcy court structure and insolvency process committee, said he "thinks the SEC would do a better job in resolving these types of companies than the FDIC would."
"I don't think the FDIC knows how to deal with broker-dealers and complex financial instruments," Schorling said.
He went on to say, "A major advantage of having the resolution option available for bank holding companies with a large securities component is that it would provide more certainty and less disruption in financial markets."