Saturday, December 12, 2009

Big Finance Regulation Takes First Step

At last, some good news on this front!

regulation-passes The US House of Representatives approved the most sweeping regulatory overhaul of the financial sector since the Great Depression of the 1930s, one of President Barack Obama's key goals.

Lawmakers voted 223-202 to pass the 1,300-page legislation, a package of measures Obama's Democratic allies crafted in response to the global financial meltdown of 2008, which has left the US economy still sputtering.

The US Senate was expected to take up the plan -- which faces stiff opposition from the financial industry and its Republicans allies, not one of whom voted in favor of the plan -- in 2010.

Obama hailed the vote in a statement, adding: "I urge both houses of Congress to pass this necessary reform as quickly as possible on behalf of the American people. I look forward to signing a strong bill."

"The crisis from which we are still recovering was born not only of failure on Wall Street, but also in Washington. We have a responsibility to learn from it," said the US president.

Obama has hit out at Wall Street "fat cats," expressing anger that banks bailed out by the government again plan huge bonuses as millions of Americans battle poverty and unemployment.

"I did not run for office to be helping out a bunch of fat cat bankers on Wall Street," Obama said Friday in excerpts of an interview with CBS television to be aired on Sunday….

...The number two House Republican, Representative Eric Cantor, said the legislation "frightens people and creates uncertainty in the American economy, preventing job growth."

The bill notably tackles the issue of firms deemed "too big to fail," which received hundreds of billions of dollars in US government "bailout" cash because their collapse would have dealt crippling blows to the economy.

The legislation gives regulators the power to dismantle such giants, and lays out a systematic way to unwind them in case of collapse that ensures shareholders and unsecured creditors, not taxpayers, bear the losses.

It also reinforces the powers of the Securities and Exchange Commission to detect irregularities that could provide an early warning of fraudulent investment schemes, like the fraud perpetrated by Wall Street swindler Bernie Madoff.

The measure also includes a first-of-its-kind plan to regulate the vast market in arcane financial products called derivatives.

It would give the Federal Reserve broader powers to oversee large at-risk firms, but also give the Government Accountability Office -- the investigative arm of the US Congress -- more oversight power over the Fed itself.

Amid US public anger at lavish bonuses paid out at firms the government saved from collapse, the measure provides for shareholders to hold non-binding annual votes on executive compensation, including severance packages known as "golden parachutes."

The House and Senate must approve identical legislation in order to send it to Obama to sign into law. [emphasis added]

Inserted from <Alternet>

While this does not go anywhere near far enough, it is a first step in the right direction.

No Republican voted for this bill.  The following DINOs joined the pig party to vote against it.

Bobby Bright, Parker Griffith, Marcy Kaptur, Ann Kirkpatrick, Harry Mitchell, Heath Shuler, Gene Taylor

If one of these is yours, let them hear your wrath!

Now the hard part will be getting it through the Senate.  Here’s why.


Hat Tip : Crooks and Liars


rjs said...

from what i gather, theres a lot of special interest pork in those 1316 pages... "beneficiaries run from corporations such as General Electric Co. and Pitney Bowes Inc. to USAA, which caters to members of the military and their families..."

Unknown said...

TC... much good in the layout, but the actual meat of reliance on the taxpayer to 'step in again' and bailout these institutions is also written into it. Meaning: we can be held up for a 'bailout' if they verge over to the edge again. Nothing has stopgapped that from happening. Dismantling these 'giants' is a misnomer... Tim G.'s work there. There is further wording in this bill that disables 'ensuring shareholders & unsecured creditors' to bear the losses... because it does NOT address the practices / mechanisms that enabled it in the first place. It's a shill - bill. The more the stupid Republicans rant against it right now, the better the banking community smiles, for it gives the idea that all will be well in marketing and finance on Wall Street if this bill passes. [You actually think these fellow would trust the current Repugs with any real information? They are NOT stupid] All overseen by the SEC? Oh plueeze! These are the folks who allowed this to happen. No changes made there, either. Madoff was a defacto memeber of that board. My thought, why has Glass-Stegal not been put back in place? HUH? I think this a much smoke and mirror legislation and it's a very Merry Christmas for Wall Street. But that's just me...
:-) ***don't zonk me!****

TomCat said...

I have not seen the meat of the bill, RJ and Gwen. Crooks and Liars us usually a reliable source. Thanks for the heads-up. No zonk mode engaged.

Lisa G. said...

I saw this about the bill:

Which explains how really crappy this thing is. I'm surprised the Repub's didn't vote for it - it's got all their favorite stuff in it. I'll withhold further comment, but this does sound like rearranging the deck chairs on the titanic.

TomCat said...

Thanks Lisa. The GOP was against it for one reason only. The Dems were for it.

Tao Dao Man said...

This is from Bob Chapman. You either like the guy, or you do not. But, the numbers do not lie.

Oso said...

Gwen and Lisa G.
I believe you're both right, a very watered down piece of crap,oops legislation. Here's what's said about derivatives:

"We propose to bring the markets for all OTC [over-the-counter, meaning they are traded between private parties] derivatives and asset-backed securities into a coherent and coordinated regulatory framework"

Nothing spelled out.And it gives the FED more power.The FED actually already has a lot of power,I was surprised in reading about them to find that out.None of which they used since they were unable to follow trends and thus were shocked when things blew up. So by all means give the assholes even more power.

To me the bottom line is,if Obama likes it, it must be a piece of shit cause the man has never met a lobbyist he didn't like.It pains me to say the guy is a hack,whose only concern IMO is his legacy.

Sue said...

sounds to me like we need more info Tom, no wonder I'm not getting many comments. It looks like we're in the dark on this one.

TomCat said...

RZ, he has some interesting numbers, but I don't like his use of the fallacious 'dump truck' tactic. It's impossible to verify what conclusions he links to what numbers, but there are so many numbers that the natural tendency is to say 'the numbers do not lie' and accept the conclusions, which may or may not be valid.

Oso, I agree. We need a plan with details. See my article on the Fed this morning.

True Sue. It's not often that I burn myself like this. I'll have to triple check C&L from now on, but there have been favorable reports of this bill on several progressive leaning sources.

Distributorcap said...

the GOP wouldnt vote for ANYTHING with a dem label - that is never going to happen

and the spineless dems - well they should take advantage of that - but they wont, since more and more it is really just one party

TomCat said...

DC, thayt seems especially true in the Senate.