Regulation Deal

Looks like they are done:

Nearly two years after the American financial system teetered on the verge of collapse, Congressional negotiators reached agreement early Friday morning to reconcile competing versions of the biggest overhaul of financial regulations since the Great Depression.

A 20-hour marathon by members of a House-Senate conference committee to complete work on toughened financial regulations culminated at 5:39 a.m. Friday in agreements on the two most contentious parts of the financial regulatory overhaul and a host of other provisions. Along party lines, the House conferees voted 20 to 11 to approve the bill; the Senate conferees voted 7 to 5 to approve.

Members of the conference committee approved proposals to restrict trading by banks for their own benefit and requiring banks and their parent companies to segregate much of their derivatives activities into a separately capitalized subsidiary.

If someone wants to do an analysis of the bill and tell us the pros and cons, I’ll front page it.

For the life of me, I still have no idea why Republicans, who did nothing but obstruct and try to kill the bill, are included in the final conference committee negotiations.






66 replies
  1. 1
    stuckinred says:

    Dylan Ratigan is KILLING it on Mornin Joe. He said there are 2 good things, the Volker Rule and some consumer protection.

  2. 2
    Mr Furious says:

    The Republicans would pitch a fucking fit if they were excluded from the conference committees. And then scream that the Dems were ramming socialist, anti-market, gay, partisan over-regulation onto the American public…

    Since they’ll do the exact same thing to this legislation they were involved in crafting anyway, I’d say, “Fuck ’em!” and lock them out.

  3. 3
    Mr Furious says:

    The Republicans would pitch a fit if they were excluded from the conference committees. And then scream that the Dems were ramming socialist, anti-market, gay, partisan over-regulation onto the American public…

    Since they’ll do the exact same thing to this legislation they were involved in crafting anyway, I’d say, “Fuck ‘em!” and lock them out.

  4. 4
    Nick says:

    Legally, the Republicans have to be in conference negotiations. All parties in Congress must be represented. Usually they have no power as they’re the minority.

  5. 5
    Nick says:

    @stuckinred: There are 2 good things, but the bill sucks? One wonders who everyone is so damn cynical. Because even when the Democrats do good, they get bashed.

  6. 6
    Bob says:

    They are included in the negotiations so the Dems can say they acted in good faith and the R’s still voted no.

  7. 7
    demimondian says:

    But, but, but…it isn’t good enough!

  8. 8
    Nick says:

    For those who have any doubt that this bill IS good;

    “They tried to water it down, but still there’s enough regulation in there that it’s going to affect banks, it’s going to affect their profitability,” said Chris Hobart, founder of Hobart Financial Group in Charlotte, North Carolina.
    “On the flip side, the simple fact that’s it’s settled, or is about to be once it passes through the rest of the processes, at least we know what we have.”

  9. 9
    4tehlulz says:

    In before the stock market tanks and Jim Kramer blames the Democrats

  10. 10
    The Raven says:

    Just about no-one who was right about the financial crisis in the first place thinks it’s an adequate bill.

    Simon Johnson. Noriel Roubini. Paul Krugman.

    Oh, BTW, the BP disaster is also having a big effect on markets.

    Croak!

  11. 11

    @The Raven: Yep. The bill is kind of like the stimulus, and for that matter pretty much every piece of major legislation passed under this Congress. Better than it was, but only good enough to turn a disaster into a problem.

  12. 12
    demimondian says:

    @The Raven: In what way was Roubini “right” about the financial crisis? Or, for that matter, Krugman?

    I’ll wait for your answer. I’ve been waiting a long time already.

  13. 13
    Anya says:

    I will withhold comment until I check the screaming headline from HuffPo telling me that this is a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad bill. Plus the many blog posts about how Dems in Congress and the White House sold us out to wall street – of course one of them has to be from Queen Jane.

  14. 14

    @Anya: I am building a special jamming device for the coming hand wringing and knashing of teeth. Only $19.99. Order now, and get a free Purple Plastic Unicorn with a stunning rainbow.

  15. 15
    Nick says:

    @The Raven: maybe you could find something from Roubini and Krugman that isn’t from six weeks and three months ago? Maybe something from, I don’t know, today?

  16. 16
    Nick says:

    @Anya:WALL STREET SURVIVES INTACT!!!!!

    Because apparently we were supposed to destroy it.

  17. 17
    some other guy says:

    Bloomberg Businessweek has a fairly long summary of what’s in the conference bill:
    http://www.businessweek.com/ne.....roved.html

  18. 18
    Svensker says:

    ZeroHedge has a run down on the bill and why it’s pretty words designed to lull reporters while giving the Banksters everything they wanted. My favorite — no derivatives trading for Big Banks! Unless the Big Bank has a subsidiary — then the subsidiary can do derivatives trading. That’ll show ’em!

    You don’t have to be a firebagger to think that We the Taxpayers are getting screwed here. I think you have to be willfully ignorant NOT to think it.

  19. 19

    @Svensker:

    I think you have to be willfully ignorant NOT to think it.

    I don’t know enough about finance and economics to be willfully ignorant about it. It is obviously far from ideal, but I doubt it is horrible, or gives banks everything they want. Sort of like HCR, or about as good as we can get, especially this close to a mid term election. And always subject to later amendment.

  20. 20
    Nick says:

    @Svensker: ZeroHedge, whatever the fuck that is, is wrong. You don’t have to live in New York City to know Wall Street HATES this bill.

  21. 21
    Nick says:

    @General Egali Tarian Stuck: It’s not far from ideal, unless your ideal is the complete elimination of capitalism. This is a massive victory against Wall Street…I work very close to Wall Street and I cover the financial industry. They’re reeling from this. Liberals are too fucking stupid and blind to see it apparently.

    Or they were looking to completely destroy capitalism, in which case, they voted for the wrong guy.

  22. 22
    Observer says:

    The car dealer exemption is an abomination.

  23. 23

    @Nick: Like I said, I don’t know jack about this topic. But I suspect you are largely right.

  24. 24
    Sentient Puddle says:

    I’m still reading around about it. It’s inevitable that whatever came out of conference isn’t going to be as good as it should be, but I feel like I need a drink every time I read a HuffPo-like analysis on financial reform. Too many people got too easily distracted by red herring issues (TBTF, audit the Fed) and basically ignored the important stuff (leverage requirements, consumer protection, the actual intricacies of what derivatives were good or bad). Yeah, it’s harder to understand than health care and I can cut people slack, but if you’re breathing fire over the red herrings, you’re just making yourself look like a moron.

    Anyway, point I’m getting to is that based on what went in to conference, whatever came out is probably reasonably good, though flawed.

  25. 25
    BC says:

    @Observer: Except that the FTC gets additional power to regulate the car dealers, so there is potential car-dealer consumer protection even if they are exempt from the financial consumer agency this bill creates. The FTC can be a badass agency for the consumer, they created the no-call list and added regulations to protect the consumer from slamming by phone companies. They are a pretty responsive agency to complaints by consumers as well.

  26. 26
    Sentient Puddle says:

    Oh, well here’s one giant problem with analyzing the final bill: we don’t even have the text yet. Not sure there’s much to really say about it until then.

  27. 27
    liberal says:

    @Nick:

    This is a massive victory against Wall Street…

    LOL! Yeah, sure, right.

  28. 28
    liberal says:

    @Nick:

    It’s not far from ideal, unless your ideal is the complete elimination of capitalism.

    How is reining in much of, if not elimination of, parasitic Wall Street rent seeking, akin to “elimination of capitalism”?

  29. 29
    Corner Stone says:

    @Nick:

    You don’t have to live in New York City to know Wall Street HATES this bill.

    You say this and other places you say how bad the bankster CEOs HATE Obama. I’m not sure if you think that’s proof of something?

  30. 30
    Mnemosyne says:

    @The Raven:

    Uh, do you think you could maybe find out what Krugman’s and Roubini’s opinions are on the actual bill that just passed and not what their opinions were in March and May on theoretical bills?

    Kthxbai.

  31. 31
    priscianusjr says:

    @liberal:
    In terms of 21st-century American capitalism, Liberal, I think you just answered your own question.

  32. 32
  33. 33
    Nick says:

    @liberal:

    How is reining in much of, if not elimination of, parasitic Wall Street rent seeking, akin to “elimination of capitalism”?

    This bill does reign in much of the parasitic Wall Street rent seeking. Even critics admit it.

  34. 34
    Nick says:

    @Corner Stone:

    You say this and other places you say how bad the bankster CEOs HATE Obama. I’m not sure if you think that’s proof of something?

    This isn’t proof to you that this administration isn’t run by and for Wall St?

    No, of course now, that would be counter to what Jane Hamsher says.

  35. 35
    priscianusjr says:

    For those of us looking for instant punditry — and, after all, which of us here is not? — try this:
    http://motherjones.com/politic.....frank-dodd

  36. 36
    priscianusjr says:

    @Nick:
    Nick, you are so naive. Don’t you realize the banksters are only pretending to hate Obama in order to give him cover?
    Seriously, I’ve seen this argument over on the left of the dial.

  37. 37
    Sheila says:

    If anyone wants proof positive that our financial industry is a drain on the welfare of our citizenry, I suggest reading the article in this months Harper’s (July 2010): “The Food Bubble: How Wall Street starved millions and got away with it” by Frederick Kaufman. I can’t imagine anyone with a heart investing in commodities after reading this.

  38. 38
    liberal says:

    @Nick:
    No it doesn’t. At best it scratches the surface.

    Frankly, you have no idea what you’re talking about.

  39. 39
    liberal says:

    @Nick:

    This isn’t proof to you that this administration isn’t run by and for Wall St?

    No. Lying, smoke and mirrors, etc, etc, is fundamental to Wall Street culture. Why would we take anything they say at face value?

    No, of course now, that would be counter to what Jane Hamsher says.

    I’m sure there’s a logical fallacy there; too lazy to look up which one, though.

  40. 40
    liberal says:

    @Nick:

    Even critics admit it.

    LOL! Even critics like Yves Smith of Naked Capitalism?

  41. 41
    liberal says:

    @priscianusjr:

    Don’t you realize the banksters are only pretending to hate Obama in order to give him cover?

    That’s one possibility. Another is that they feel entitled, so if we take their privileges and reduce them by 0.5%, they scream bloody murder.

  42. 42
    Corner Stone says:

    @Nick:

    This isn’t proof to you that this administration isn’t run by and for Wall St?

    No, of course now, that would be counter to what Jane Hamsher says.

    What rational individual would make this conclusion given your statements?

    And as a side note, I find it very funny when people throw out JH or FDL or whomever. The only way I know anything about what she’s doing or saying is by the people here who are so obviously obsessed with her as some kind of talisman.

  43. 43
    Nick says:

    @liberal:

    Frankly, you have no idea what you’re talking about.

    Oh really, how many people do you know who work on Wall Street?

  44. 44
    liberal says:

    @Corner Stone:

    The only way I know anything about what she’s doing or saying is by the people here who are so obviously obsessed with her as some kind of talisman.

    Heh.

    I almost never read Kos or FDL. I think I clicked over to FDL the other day ‘cuz Atrios linked there, but otherwise don’t read much and don’t have a great impression of those places.

  45. 45
    Nick says:

    @Corner Stone:

    What rational individual would make this conclusion given your statements?

    What rational individual WOULDN’T?

    In your world, rational is believing they secretly love Obama, but are pretending to hate him so people will approval of his pro-Wall Street legislation design to look like regulation.

    You fucktards wouldn’t know rational if it came in wearing a Code Pink T-shirt and ran for office on the Green Party ballot line.

    Yeah, I said it, I’m in the mood to punch some hippies today.

  46. 46
    liberal says:

    @Nick:

    Suppose I said to someone in late 2002 that the invasion of Iraq would be a disaster, and they countered “no, the risk of that is low.” And I then said, “Frankly, you don’t know what you’re talking about.” And then they said, “How many people do you know at State and the Pentagon?”

    You just look like a fool.

    Furthermore, I do know at least a handful of people who went to work on Wall Street, former physics and math guys. And I’ve seen people in math babble on about stuff that’s related to problems that come up on Wall Street (like options pricing).

  47. 47
    Nick says:

    @liberal: For someone who doesn’t read FDL, you sure good at parroting their talking points verbatim.

  48. 48
    liberal says:

    @Nick:

    In your world, rational is believing they secretly love Obama, but are pretending to hate him so people will approval of his pro-Wall Street legislation design to look like regulation.

    That might be that poster’s read on it.

    My read is that they’re such a bunch of greedy f*cks that if they get only 99% of what they want, they’ll scream bloody murder.

    You fucktards wouldn’t know rational if it came in wearing a Code Pink T-shirt and ran for office on the Green Party ballot line.

    If “rational” is blithering on about knowing Wall Street while not understanding the fundamentals, I guess I’m not rational.

    Yeah, I said it, I’m in the mood to punch some hippies today make myself look like an idiot today.

    Fixt.

  49. 49
    liberal says:

    @Nick:
    You’re sure good at committing logical fallacies.

  50. 50
    Nick says:

    @liberal:

    Suppose I said to someone in late 2002 that the invasion of Iraq would be a disaster, and they countered “no, the risk of that is low.” And I then said, “Frankly, you don’t know what you’re talking about.” And then they said, “How many people do you know at State and the Pentagon?”
    You just look like a fool.

    No asshole, you look like the fool. This is the stupidest analogy I’ve ever heard in my life. I can’t even process the stupid. There were a lot of people in the Pentagon and State Department who thought the invasion of Iraq would be a disaster and you know it! Liberals did a wonderful job trying to put them front and center.

  51. 51
    Nick says:

    @liberal:

    If “rational” is blithering on about knowing Wall Street while not understanding the fundamentals, I guess I’m not rational.

    WTF does “understanding the fundamentals” mean?

  52. 52
    Sentient Puddle says:

    Y’know, I want to kidney punch the lot of you for getting way too meta. I don’t know if you noticed, but the legislation (that still has yet to be revealed) has actual policies in it that you can talk about.

  53. 53
    Corner Stone says:

    @Nick:

    In your world, rational is believing they secretly love Obama, but are pretending to hate him so people will approval of his pro-Wall Street legislation design to look like regulation.

    Nick, I think you need to slow your roll a little.
    You said Wall St. HATES the bill. I asked if that was proof of something. Because it clearly isn’t proof that it’s by definition a GOOD bill. Just because some entity HATES something does not ergo lucotur sum cogitus facto mean it’s a good result.
    You and I don’t agree on much. I HATE Clamato. Does that make it a tasty drink for you?

  54. 54
    Nick says:

    @liberal:

    My read is that they’re such a bunch of greedy f*cks that if they get only 99% of what they want, they’ll scream bloody murder.

    Yeah, people like you would read it like that…because God forbid our government would actually have done something good. It mean completely ruin your schtick.

  55. 55
    Nick says:

    @Corner Stone:

    You said Wall St. HATES the bill. I asked if that was proof of something. Because it clearly isn’t proof that it’s by definition a GOOD bill.

    What would be proof that it was a good bill? Yes, this is a rhetorical question as we have a better chance of getting the Palestinians and Israelis to live in peace than we have of ever pleasing you.

  56. 56
    Corner Stone says:

    @Nick:

    What would be proof that it was a good bill? Yes, this is a rhetorical question as we have a better chance of getting the Palestinians and Israelis to live in peace than we have of ever pleasing you.

    Actual things in the bill, which as has been pointed out, isn’t final yet.
    But just because, according to you and your very close relationship with Wall St., they HATE the bill that isn’t even final yet, doesn’t mean all by itself that this bill will have to be a good outcome.
    Don’t you get that? Wall St. can HATE the actual final bill and that by itself won’t make it a good outcome.
    Good things in the bill will make it a good outcome. I don’t judge legislation by who hates something.

  57. 57
    eemom says:

    Wall Street is like a toddler. It likes being able to wreak destruction at will. It hates being told no, you can’t grab anything you want and smash it.

    Therefore, if Wall Street is throwing a tantrum about this bill, I’d say that’s a good sign.

    No it doesn’t PROVE anything, but it’s a good sign.

  58. 58
    Nick says:

    @Corner Stone: The final wording not being released sure didn’t stop people like Dylan Ratigan from slamming it only hours after a deal was announced.

    Good things in the bill will make it a good outcome.

    There are good things in the bill, but you seem to have ignored those.

  59. 59
    kay says:

    @Nick:

    Dylan Ratigan

    He’s one of the newly-minted populist opportunists. He saw an opening. There’s a whole batch of them. If you’re making big bucks off populist outrage, making a lucrative career out of it, should that make me wary? I think so. I put him with Lou Dobbs. Glen Beck. Arianna Huffington. This is a profitable fad for these people. They’ll drop it the minute the economy improves, and be on to the next issue.

    I’m waiting to hear from people like Elizabeth Warren. She sounds the same now as she did 20 years ago. She’s thrilled someone is finally listening, of course, but she’s never traded in on populist rage, and she’s been plugging away forever.

  60. 60
    Ailuridae says:

    @stuckinred:

    Dylan Ratigan is a lying ass hole. He can’t kill anything. He, like many left wing bloggers, got obsessed with TBTF and can’t see the forest for the trees.

  61. 61
    kevina says:

    Is Ratigan an opportunist? Maybe. But he sure as hell IS a one-track-mind simpleton. He may have some points, but he beats them into the ground, w/o taking a look at the whole. A bit like a mix of Lou Dobbs and Keith Olbermann.

  62. 62
    Ailuridae says:

    DLCer Tim Fernholz has a pretty great one paragraph summary of the bill:

    The bill appears to largely resemble the Senate version, with some additional loopholes and some improvements — particularly on Volcker — thanks to the conference process. While complaints that Dodd-Frank doesn’t “reshape” Wall Street and leaves too many good reforms on the table aren’t inaccurate — and they provide an agenda for the future — the bill itself deserves to be held to a different standard: Will it fix serious holes in financial regulation and empower regulators? Will it limit risk and reduce bank profit? Does it include landmark provisions like a new consumer regulator and derivatives reform? Does it seriously diminish the potential for future bailouts? The answer to all of those questions is “yes,” and that makes this legislation quite an accomplishment.

    The thing is the most heinous loophole (the auto dealers being exempted) is the kind of thing progressives can attack directly going forward and make the GOP vote specifically for unscrupulous auto dealers taking advantage of active duty military personnel. While the weakening of the derivatives language is problematic (although not nearly as much so as the FDL crowd seems to think) its a fine trade-off from my perspective for a strengthened Volcker rule.

    If you told me when they took up this issue that this specific iteration of the Volcker rule would be in the final bill and likely to pass with there being 41 GOP senators I would have put the chances on it at about 5%.

  63. 63
    robertdsc says:

    Not worried about it. Just waiting for the GOP to filibuster the final bill.

  64. 64
    sapp3r says:

    David Waldman has actually been doing a nice series on conference procedures, but one portion that’s relevant to John’s question is here:

    http://www.congressmatters.com.....-unit-rule

    Basically, the conferees from each house form a single voting unit — that is, there is one vote for each chamber — and so having a member of the minority as a conferee for either side can't really affect the overall outcome unless they can convince the majority of their own chambers' conferees to adopt the position they favor. (This also insures that the minority members from each chamber cannot effectively form a block within the conference as a whole.)

    On another note, it doesn't stop the Senate conferees from bringing up the possibility that any conference report back to that chamber might be filibustered.

    cheers!
    sapp3r

  65. 65
    4jkb4ia says:

    Krugman is in Germany. No comment.

    However in the lead story at nytimes.com we have the following response:

    A spokesman for Goldman Sachs said: “We are studying the bill and are mindful that it still has to go through the House and the Senate. We’re also mindful of the fact that much interpretation responsibility lies with regulators, so we think it is too early to be able to express an informed view.”

    (I really have to start cooking now.)

  66. 66
    Sentient Puddle says:

    So I was bored at work (my day was spent waiting on a developer to fix a bug), so I read shit and started typing. And uh…didn’t stop. This is long.

    The final bill still isn’t out, and it sounds like it won’t be for at least a few days. But meh, I’m going off of reports of what’s in the bill. If you want to follow along, the best I’ve seen so far is from the Wall Street Journal.

    What looks to be the big thing in this bill is the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the brainchild of Elizabeth Warren. It’s admittedly something I haven’t paid as much attention to as I should have, so my understanding of it isn’t too terribly great. The gist of it, if you haven’t followed the wonkery, is that it’s a new government agency that has oversight over most anything that deals with consumer finance. We’re talking mortgages, payday lenders, and the like. The big exemption is auto dealers, who got a last-minute victory in conference negotiations. Disappointing, but if I’m looking at the bill from the standpoint of wanting to make our country’s underlying financial structure solid, I’m not too concerned. Bad auto loans aren’t going to cause a recession.

    One other sticking point was whether or not the bureau would be independent (best option) or housed under the Federal Reserve. In the end, it’s under the purview of the Fed, but they get independent funding and, from my understanding, the board members aren’t appointed by the Fed. Given these, I’m not entirely sure exactly what kind of control the Fed has over the bureau, so I’m tempted to call this good. I’m sure there’s some key detail that’s eluding me at present, and as we read the final bill, we’ll get a better sense of just how independent the bureau is.

    In any case, it’s also my understanding that Warren is rather pleased with how the bureau turned out. If it’s good enough for her, then I’d give it my thumbs up.

    Resolution authority is another biggie in the bill. This is the tool the government has to deal with the “Too Big To Fail” problem. I know a lot of people are disappointed that there isn’t some sort of clause in the bill that cleaves the big banks into separate smaller banks, but that would have been too blunt a strategy and wouldn’t have really solved the problem (a bunch of small banks failing is just as bad as one or two big banks failing). What we have here is much more elegant.

    If a big bank is failing, the government can invoke resolution authority, take over the bank, and begin to wind it down. This essentially involves dismantling the bank, liquidating the good assets, and basically shutting down the bank without fucking up the economy (like a failure today would). There was a minor controversy early on about how to pay for resolution, and you may remember McConnell saying that stupid shit about how the bill would institutionalize bailouts…yeah, he was referring to the funding (and yes, he was a lying sack of shit). I was concerned when the funding mechanism at the time ($50 billion tax on big banks) was stripped, and…well, don’t know exactly how I feel about the new mechanism. The Treasury pays for resolution up front, but as part of the plan regulators have to draft up for dismantling a bank, they have to determine where they can get the money from the bank to cover the expenses. Or in other words, it’s sort of like giving someone the death sentence, and billing them for the gold-plated bullet that’s going to be fired into their brain. If this funding mechanism works, then this is great policy. If not…well, it’s still better than bank bailouts as we currently know them.

    The final big component is stuff like derivatives, the Volker rule, and all the like that’s basically saying to banks “No, we won’t let you do the stupid shit that’s going to make you fail in the first place.” This stuff has been watered down somewhat since the Senate bill, but honestly, I have yet to see a good case that it’s gone too far. Scott Brown scored a small loophole in the Volker rule in that banks can invest 3% of their capital, but that’s a lot less than what they currently do. A number of swaps are exempted from the clearinghouse/exchange requirement, but these all look like the kind that banks legitimately use to hedge against risk (which, remember, is a GOOD THING). Overall, it looks like the riskiest shit will have all kinds of eyes looking at them on the clearinghouse, where all kinds of people should speak up and say “This really is a shitty deal.” At least until some asshole genius innovates a new financial package that hides toxicity well (which is inevitable, no matter how good this bill is).

    There’s a lot of other smaller components that don’t really deserve elaboration or highlighting, but are still good policy. I won’t go through them, but I just want to make note that the bill does a lot more than just these three things.

    As for specific things that are missing or I think are otherwise too weak, three things come to mind. The first is leverage requirements. The original House bill had a provision saying that every bank needed to keep $1 on hand for every $15 they lent out for whatever reason (notated as 15:1 leverage). This was very good, and worldwide, banks that were leveraged at around there held up pretty well during the crisis. In the final bill, it sounds like there’s a 20:1 requirement, but only for what’s considered the riskiest loans. This runs into problems when we don’t know just which loans are risky in the first place, which is why a blanket requirement is better. If we had a blanket requirement, then banks would be a lot more resilient against any potential crisis, and is probably the best thing we could have done for financial reform. So I’m disappointed in this regard.

    The second is the ratings agencies reforms. In the Senate bill, they were going to be dolled out randomly so that lenders couldn’t simply shop around for an agency that would give them the best rating. That’s not going to happen for two years now, while regulators consider this policy, with the option of scrapping it. Not good.

    And the final thing is, you know how I’ve referred to “regulators” at so many points? This here is something of a problem. Appointed regulators have too much discretion in many key areas, and in some cases, have to go through the Fed in order to enact some regulations. In the short run, I don’t think this will be a problem. After coming off a crisis of a huge magnitude, the natural inclination of any regulator will be to err on the side of over-regulating, and nobody will complain about it (except maybe Michael Steele). But over the years, I fear they’ll get more and more lax, thinking that banks are more and more secure as the economy improves, until one day shit happens, and oops, turns out the regulators didn’t turn the screws hard enough on Wall Street when they should have.

    So on the whole? I’m actually pretty happy with what I’ve heard of the bill. Yes, there’s plenty to nitpick, and I’ve got a few big disappointments, but the stuff that I consider “wrong” is more like missed opportunities than institutionalizing some fundamentally dangerous practice. And if some things don’t turn out quite as good as they look right now, well, also a disappointment, but not a fundamental problem. This bill does sort of take a “throw spaghetti at the wall” approach to reform in that whatever sticks will be a good thing. That and there’s not nearly as many moving parts as there was in health care reform, in that leaving out any of certain key pieces causes the whole thing to crumble. And really, given the nature of the problem (we have a decent enough handle on understanding what blew up the economy in the first place, but also realize there’s still dangerous stuff out there that we don’t know about), this is about the best possible approach we could have taken to reform.

Comments are closed.