financial reform

An Update on Financial Reform Legislative Shenanigans

Update: The bill passed, 59-39. Next stop will be the conference committee, where a manager's amendment along with other modifications are possible.

Update: Republicans blocked the Merkley-Levin amendment. The amendment which would have stopped proprietary trading with taxpayers, account holders money. Nasdaq News:

Two of the most anxiously awaited amendments to the U.S. Senate's financial-overhaul bill will not get votes after Republicans maneuvered to kill a controversial plan to sharply curb a lucrative Wall Street trading business.

As the endgame on the bill drew close, Republican leaders convinced U.S. Sen. Sam Brownback (R., Kan.) to withdraw his hot-button amendment that would have excluded auto dealers from oversight by the new consumer watchdog created by the bill.

Brownback's move effectively squashed a second, contentious amendment that had been attached, for strategic reason, to the Brownback amendment. The second amendment--hotly opposed by Wall Street--would have banned most banks from using their own capital to make market bets, so-called proprietary trading.

Beware of the Manager's Amendment

Beware of the Manager's amendment! Today it was announced Senators Chris Dodd and Richard Shelby are putting a manager's amendment into the Financial Reform bill currently before Congress.

Manager's amendments are notorious. They are often massive, no one gets to read them before a vote. Literally they can gut the very bill being crafted and voted on for months in a matter of seconds.

According to the Huffington Post, a number one corporate lobbyists' priority is being considered for the manager's amendment.

Senator Dodd seems lukewarm at best on the question of state authority and has refused to rule out including a version of Carper in his manager's amendment

The Carper amendment would block states from enforcing consumer protection laws.

To introduce a massive bill, under the guise of a manger's amendment, at the last minute, which no one has read, is common. When the financial reform bill was passed out of committee, Chris Dodd introduced a manger's amendment then, at the last minute.

House Financial Services Committee Chair Barney Frank did the same thing.

Audit the Fed Under Attack

Why does the Obama administration want to kill the popular Senate Bernie Sanders amendment to audit the Fed? The amendment may be up for a vote later this week and there are reports the amendment vote will be hit with that magical, fictional 60 to pass, instead of 50, which is the norm for amendments.

According to the Wall Street Journal:

Obama administration officials have declined to weigh in on any specific amendments, with one exception: a move by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) to give the government more power to audit certain operations at the Federal Reserve. Fed and administration officials have signaled they would fight to stop it at all costs. Mr. Sanders has more than a dozen co-sponsors.

At all costs. Really? Including a veto? What is wrong with wanting to know what happened to $2 trillion dollars? Why would the Obama administration demand to remove public disclosure out of the financial reform bill?

What's Happening with Financial Reform Legislation?

As what happens in our Congress, things change, get confusing and obscured. Last we left off on Financial reform, we noted the Dodd bill was a Dud and things have degenerated into political circus.

Now, Senator Lincoln has introduced a new bill which will be voted on in the The Senate agriculture committee. The current guesses are it will be voted out of committee and onto the Senate floor by April 26th. Here is the actual bill text and here is her press release:

The Wall Street Transparency and Accountability Act of 2010

Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, Chairman Blanche Lincoln


A financial reform political circus

While the Senate and House have debated the health care reform endlessly, fighting tooth and nail at every step, all the while being broadcast on network television, the financial reform bill is quietly moving along under the radar. On the same day that Senator Dodd proposed his sweeping reform bill, it passed committee.

“The bill that finally passes on the floor will be a much more business-friendly bill,” Miller said today. “They won’t get a bill done until Dodd and Shelby agree on the compromise, but Republicans do want to get a bill done this year. So there’s incentive for both sides to come to agreement.”

The fact that the bill is going to be watered down even more is a sad statement to an on-going tragedy.

Chris Dodd's wife and derivatives trading - "all in the family"

It’s all in the family! Senator Chris Dodd writes a financial reform bill but forgets to regulate derivatives, “financial weapons of mass destruction.” Then we find out that his wife works for the owners of two exchanges that will very likely benefit from Dodd's “reform” legislation.


They make the rules. They take the money, all of it, and leave us with debt. And they tell us it’s all legal.

Here’s the story.

Dodd's Dud

You may be wondering why you haven't seen a post overview on the latest Senator Dodd's Financial Reform Bill, Restoring American Financial Stability Act of 2010 (link has legislative summary and text). That's because, as usual, it's a dud.

Firstly a few summary points are listed here. The Huffington Post has a list of other criticisms, including the political on Dodd 2.0. Also, yet another New York Times op-ed points to the well known fact, putting the CFPA under the Federal Reserve will de facto kill consumer financial protection.

Make Markets Be Markets - A Bunch of Well Known Folk Trying to Get Some Damn Financial Reform

Anyone reading our site knows that Financial Reform is nowhere and what has been passed can be described from Swiss cheese to who let the dogs out.

Well, well, us in the peanut gallery are not alone in that assessment and a bunch of experts are putting forth detailed policy proposals on what should happen. They are on a web 2.0 media campaign to get your attention and I will assume your support too.

A conference, put on by the Roosevelt Institute was held this week. The blog New Deal 2.0 has a host of videos, including the entire conference. They really are going all out on the web 2.0 stuff and even have a website, Make Markets Be Markets, just for their policy proposals and to get real financial reform.

What's Happening with the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2009?

Today the House passed H.R. 4173: Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2009. The vote was 223 to 202 with 27 Democrats joining all of the Republicans in a no vote.

The actual bill is in the Congressional Record, with the latest Congressional actions (not real time).

Here is a list of amendments. The current House Roll Call vote is here.

The House allowed 36 amendments for debate, which severely limits the real number of amendments up for consideration. It appeared to be a strategic move to block the flurry of Republican amendments.

See this post on two amendments to gut the bill.