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Jeff Hutchens/Getty Images

The U.S. Treasury Department wants international financial regulators to stop using the term "shadow banking" when referring to non-bank lenders, according to a report released Thursday. Instead, it wants such activities to be referred to as "market based finance." Per the report:

"Applying the term 'shadow banking' to registered investment companies is particularly inappropriate as the word 'shadow' could be interpreted as implying insufficient regulatory oversight, or disclosure. Registered investment companies, as described in this report, are regulated by the SEC and provide extensive public and regulatory transparency of fund portfolio holdings on a quarterly, monthly and, in some cases, daily basis."

Etymology: The term "shadow banking" was coined by former bond fund manager Paul McCulley in 2007, and soon became ubiquitous as such lending helped spark the following year's financial crisis. Today the term is used fairly broadly, particularly as the securitization mania of 2007 has given way to new lending booms like private credit funds.

Bottom line: While "shadow banking" may be a pejorative term — which seems to be Treasury's gripe — it hasn't stopped the industry's rapid growth. Nor has that growth sparked increased oversight, as non-bank lenders continue to operate under much less oversight than can their banking peers.

Go deeper

52 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Breaking Biden's diplomatic logjam

Expand chart
Data: Center for Presidential Transition via Congress.gov; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

The logjam for reviewing and confirming President Biden's ambassadorial picks is finally starting to break.

Why it matters: Biden is far behind his predecessors in the rate at which his ambassadorial picks have been confirmed. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee will hold a series of high-profile hearings and votes this week to finally begin chipping away at the backlog.

59 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Democrats brace for staredown over paid family medical leave

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Senior House Democrats are braced for battle with the Senate over whether paid family medical leave — a key priority for progressives — will be included in President Biden’s final budget reconciliation bill, lawmakers and aides tell Axios.

Why it matters: Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) has indicated he wants to cut the program to reduce the bill's price tag. “Paid family and medical leave must be in the final package,” Rep. Richard Neal (D-Mass.), chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, told Axios on Monday.

2 hours ago - World

Poland showdown is EU's Jan. 6 moment, top official says

Didier Reynders. Photo: Thierry Monasse/Getty Images

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What he's saying: "During many years, we have had in our minds that it was granted that if you are a member of the EU, of course you apply the rule of law; you have full respect for democracy, fundamental rights and so on — maybe with some concerns but with a real intention to adapt your legislation to be in full compliance [with EU law]," Reynders said.