Here is an idea for our times.

We create a Federal Agency called the Consumer Investment Information Corporation.

It is funded by a fee on all banks and institutions needing an independent investment rating.

It is governed by nine people; three selected from each political party representative group in the Congress, and another three selected from the first six. The last three can be academics or professional analysts.

The CIIP can hire investment services like S&P and Moody’s to rate the financial institutions. The rating service would no longer be hired and paid by the institutions they rate; they would be serving the consumer.

Over a period of say 5 years, the FDIC protection would be removed from banking institutions. During that time a CIIP rating would be given on those institutions on their relative stability and strength.  Banks could then compete on the basis of stability and financial strength. Higher rated banks could sell CD’s with lower yields since they provide value through their strength. Lower rated banks would have to pay a higher interest rate to compensate for their higher risk.

Current FDIC protection has replaced market information. Consumers do not care about the strength of their banks because they have federal insurance protection. It has encouraged reckless banking behavior. Every time the FDIC limit is raised the banking sector acts more irresponsibly.

It is time to let the market function by providing information, rather than rendering the information irrelevant by guaranteeing incompetence.