Reg Reform Passes Senate

Jillian Bandes
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Posted: May 21, 2010 8:46 AM
Regulatory reform passed the Senate last night. There are still key differences between that bill and the bill that passed the House, so now, a four-week negotiation period begins to iron everything out.

Notably, under the Senate bill derivatives were regulated — banks can no longer trade them. Derivatives also have to be cleared by a third-party, a move that Wall Street says will gum up its ability to speedily conduct financial transaction.

Consumer protections will be given for consumers on things like checking accounts and loans. It allows for regulators to break up institutions that they think are "too big to fail," though, the ways the House and Senate bill do this is very different.

There are other major differences — such as the House bill providing for the controversial $150 billion bailout fund, which would be giving to failing institutions upon their demise. The Senate allows those costs to be recouped after the institutions are already gone.

Paul Ryan's analysis
is chilling:
The financial regulatory overhaul is not reform. Its fundamental architecture expands and centralizes power in Washington, doubling down on the root causes of the 2008 crisis. It is based on a vision that government can foresee future crises and avert them, despite the fact that an army of regulators never saw the most recent crisis coming.

The complex array of new councils, agencies, and bureaucracies creates endless channels for crony capitalists to penetrate. A financial system that once thrived on entrepreneurial risk and low barriers to entry for investment will now deny admittance to everyone except those sophisticated enough, connected enough, and flush enough with campaign contributions to do business with government and pay the price of entry.
Then, of course, there are those with polar opposite views. Here's Mark Calabria in the New York Post:
That thin semblance of reform will let Congress and the Obama administration claim they brought Wall Street to heel. But by dodging all the hard issues, this "reform" makes it likely that the next crisis will put the last one to shame.

...Going forward, we are left with relying on only the discretionary wisdom of the same regulators who were asleep at the wheel last time. And though that crisis cost millions their jobs, the Dodd bill won't see even one incompetent bureaucrat lose his.