Wall Street Reform

I thought that this post hit the nail on the head.

From Political Animal:

It wasn’t easy, and it took a little longer than expected, but one of the pillars of the Democratic agenda — a sweeping Wall Street reform bill — cleared Congress today, and is poised to become law.

The Senate voted, 60 to 39, to approve an overhaul of the financial regulatory system on Thursday, heralding the end of more than a generation in which the prevailing posture of Washington toward the financial industry was largely one of hands-off admiration.

“We all know Wall Street isn’t going to reform itself,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.)said today. “Those who vote ‘no’ are standing with the same bankers who gambled with our homes and economic security in the first place.”

The final roll found three Republicans — Sens. Susan Collins (Maine), Olympia Snowe (Maine) and Scott Brown (Mass.) — joining the entire Democratic caucus, except Russ Feingold (D-Wis.), in supporting the bill. It now heads to the White House for President Obama’s signature.

There’s some confusion, apparently, as to exactly when that will happen. The Hill reports that the president may sign the legislation into law today, while the New York Times reports it’s likely to benext week. Given the fact that Obama is in Michigan today, I’d be surprised if the signing ceremony were ready for this afternoon.

Either way, the reform package, formally called the “Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act,” represents the biggest regulatory change for the financial industry since the Great Depression. Kevin Drum had a good item recently, highlighting several of its key provisions. He concluded, “Given the alternatives, anyone who cares about financial reform should support this bill.”

In the larger context, Wall Street reform also gets added to the list of breakthrough accomplishments of the last 18 months, a list that now includes health care reform, an economy-saving Recovery Act, a long-sought overhaul of the nation’s student-loan system, the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, the Hate Crimes Prevention Act, new regulation of the credit card industry, new regulation of the tobacco industry, a national service bill, expanded stem-cell research, and the most sweeping land-protection act in 15 years, among other things.

As Rachel Maddow recently observed, “The last time any president did this much in office, booze was illegal. If you believe in policy, if you believe in government that addresses problems, cheers to that.”

Of course, the president’s leadership made progress on this agenda possible, but kudos also obviously have to go to the House and Senate leadership, especially on Wall Street reform, which looked to be in deep trouble more than once. Time will tell what happens in the midterms, but Americans haven’t seen a Congress as successful as 111th in at least a generation.

0 Responses

  1. “No one will know until this is actually in place how it works.” — Chris Dodd

    The blind leading the blind.

  2. Nothing that is written can't be rewritten to make things better. That is why there are amendments. Instead of complaining they need to write ammendments and see if they can get their opinions approved. It is not a dead law nor is the healthcare law. It can always be altered. People would rather complain and stamp their feet and point fingers than to solve problems. I hope for all our sakes they can get the right rules written and they are enforced.

  3. Dodd isn't some guy on the periphery saying 'The bill isn't quite to my liking'

    He is one of the architects of the bill, and the chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, and he's admitting he doesnt know how it will affect banks and their customers.

    Why would you pass 2000 pages of law if you dont know what effect it would have?

  4. Why would you start a war without knowing how you are going to get out of the country?

  5. In hoping it will protect the country from people who want to destroy it. I would rather risk a banking overhaul bill and work within the regulations than let the banks and corporations get away with the spoils.. The rules have yet to be written. If they don't like it then they can ammend it.

  6. If you don't want them to 'get away with spoils', then you don't bail them out when they fail.

    The feds bailed the big banks out, and Obama has passed 'reform' to insure that they can be bailed out again.

    Moreover, the overregulation which was key to creating the subprime mortgate crisis, which was at the very heart of the banking collapse, has not been repealed or touched in any way.

    Federal overregulation is still in place to cause the same situation to arise repeatedly.

    Also, people like Chuck Shumer have not been held accountable for their part in the financial slide.

  7. If you really believe it was people who bought houses they couldn't afford caused this mess then you are a funny guy.

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Errington C. Thompson, MD

Dr. Thompson is a surgeon, scholar, full-time sports fan and part-time political activist. He is active in a number of community projects and initiatives. Through medicine, he strives to improve the physical health of all he treats.


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