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Monday, March 15, 2010

Financial Reforms to Be Unveiled

Chris Dodd is about to unveil a sweeping package of reforms.

Combining Obama administration and Republican priorities, the leading Senate author of a sweeping rewrite of the nation's financial regulations is looking for consensus with a proposal that neither side of the political spectrum is ready to embrace.

Sen. Christopher Dodd, the chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, plans to unveil a proposal Monday that expands the powers of the Federal Reserve but creates a consumer protection entity with less authority than President Barack Obama once demanded.

His draft legislation aims to avoid a recurrence of the financial crisis that brought Wall Street to the verge of collapse 18 months ago. It would restrict the size and interconnections of large financial institutions once deemed "too big to fail," tame previously unregulated shadow markets with new restrictions and create a dismantling mechanism for failing financial giants without a bail out from taxpayers.


Among the casualties of non stop hyperanalysis of health care reform is very much analysis of financial reform. Most people think there must be some financial reform but there's little agreement on what that reform will look like. Here's how this reform is being described.

His draft legislation aims to avoid a recurrence of the financial crisis that brought Wall Street to the verge of collapse 18 months ago. It would restrict the size and interconnections of large financial institutions once deemed "too big to fail," tame previously unregulated shadow markets with new restrictions and create a dismantling mechanism for failing financial giants without a bail out from taxpayers.


That sounds great but the devil on such things is in the detail. So, how do we know if these reforms will accomplish their stated goal? All of them must be analyzed in some detail. Yet, that isn't happening. Dodd is planning to bring this bill to a vote by the end of the month. It may be law before the end of April.

In the meantime, people know very little about anything that's in this bill. What will the new restrictions be on a new mechanism to dismantle financial giants? What new powers will the Fed have, the Consumer Financial Protection Agency?

All of these are issues that must be explored. They can't merely be explored by partisans. Yet, all we have is a never ending debate on health care reform.

3 comments:

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xformed said...

This sucks. Bills not even fully written are put up for vote, they are close to 3000 pages for HC, and we can't even get them to read them to see the massive and invasive reach of the Government into the very details of our lives there. Add to that, I'm sure, a requirement to make all financial data available to Uncle (read every single transaction of every single customer, which will mean they will be able to farm/collect/analyze all that goes on. It will be couched in terms of "it's the needed data to see how big the bank (financial institution) getting so we can intervene before it fails.

Forget about freedom. I'm sure there will be language in both bills that bypasses privacy, as it's the Feds to the rescue to protect us. It will also give them the ability to pull money right out of accounts, if the IRS says you owe...

By the time someone stands up to take this to court, most likely they will have been financially wrecked by some "unknown" force...