JV: How do you envision the Financial Stability Forum functioning in the international financial architecture both initially and long-term and what will the role of the national regulators be?
RR: Thats a funny question.
JV: Why so?
RR: Oh, I dont know, (chuckling). The Financial Stability Forum will probably do two things, and I think you can see it already. It will provide a forum, to my recollection it will be once a year or something like that, I may be wrong but however frequently it meets, it will provide a forum at that meeting for the regulators of the various countries to get together and compare notes and share experiences. But I think whats probably more, somewhat more fundamentally, it will undertake particular projects for example right now, their looking ahead months and my recollection is they have at least one or two other projects that they would be initiating after that first meeting which, uh, took place, I believe at the time of the IMF World Bank meetings.
JV: The reason why I asked it is because the G-7 finance ministers are going to be participating as far as I understand.
RR: No, uh, at least I havent participated. There are probably corporate regulators participating.
JV: What will their function be?
RR: Oh, theyre part of it. The ideal is to bring together key regulators from principle countries around the world. Ive forgotten the number from each country, but whatever it is, it is to provide a wide representation and their role will be to say look, these are the problems were facing, what problems are you facing, and to try to identify which is it you will to devote regulatory structure and then find response to those glitches. I, actually it is a very interesting thing to do, what happens is youll have one set of regulations in the London market, another in Tokyo, another in the United States, and it, people actually arbitrage those differences if I note nothing else than by setting up your offices in places where they take advantage whatever they think is the most favorable regulation. The idea here is that regulators come together and try to find the best practices to agree on and then universalize. But it will also, I think very importantly, study individual issues that need some type of global consideration. I think another subject they were going to take a look at, but I dont know if it started yet, or not, is this question of off-shore centers in an attempt to avoid international qualms.
JV: What do you think has been your greatest role during your tenure as US Treasury Secretary? Im trying to get something concrete today.
RR: I have to think about that for a minute. I think thats a little difficult to answer with a single but I dont even think of it that way is the best answer I can give you. If you really want an answer I will give you an answer but it may be more than you want (JV no its not, sure go ahead) and then its not concrete. (laughing)
When President Clinton put together his initial economics, he, what he tried to do, he didnt try to do I think he accomplished it, what he put together was the best economic consul (inaudible) what he want was people to work together in an effective fashion. And then he chose people, not only on the basis of what they do in their field, whether they could in his judgment or might be able to in his judgment work together effectively and I remember my interview being two hours and we talked very little about economics and a whole host of other things and after I couldnt figure what the interview was about then I realized he was trying to get a sense of how I would fit with other people in trying to create some kind of a team. So when you ask me what my greatest role, I dont think of it that way, I think of it what did we (inaudible learn?) and under his leadership. And I guess, in the broadest sense my answer would be he started with a broad based comprehension strategy. He came to our first meeting (inaudible) during transition meeting with this in mind. Pretty much everything he does since then fits in the context of that strategy, one (inaudible) Ive come away from, particularly in the face of complexity in the global economy, and what in many ways is a new economy, I think it is invaluable to have a President who understands the context of which he is operating, shes operating, and have a strategy thats consist with that context (and effectively did and followed through all day long) and in that context weve done a lot of very important things, firstly weve worked as a team, and that ( ) the team a lot more effectively otherwise we take a strong dollar, at least we had a strong dollar policy, we worked very effectively with the fed, inside the treasury itself we try to maintain the excellence of the institution most particularly as managerial focus with folks at the Internal Revenue Service where problems that develop some ( ) that are decades, theres a lot left to do, but I think weve made a lot of progress since we started on this reform with the IRS and we got the ATF which was having terrible difficulties but has come a long way now with reform over there. Thats a little bit of .