Wall Street/Financial Reform Hits 60 Votes

Wall Street/Financial Reform Hits 60 Votes


Republican lawmakers Scott Brown and Olympia Snowe jumped on board to give Dems the votes they needed to pass a sweeping financial reform law. Susan Collins had previously committed to supporting the bill.

And one has to wonder, after reading what’s in the legislation…why are Republicans opposing this?

From The Hill:

The legislation aims to prevent future taxpayer-funded bailouts; would boost regulation over credit cards, mortgages and other products; regulate the $600 trillion derivatives market; and increase oversight of broad financial system risks, among other measures.

So how did the Dems get Brown’s support? Well…

Brown, the Massachusetts Republican who succeeded Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) in January, declared his support for the bill after Democrats removed a provision he had opposed in the conference report that would have levied $19 billion in taxes on financial firms.

Hey, if that’s what it will take to get reforms in place and finally be able to look into the black box that is the derivatives market, so be it.

Still, this really should have been a bipartisan bill. After those taxes were taken off the table, no good reasons remained for not supporting this legislation. So those Republicans are now going to have to answer questions in the fall about why they aren’t supporting anything that is attempting to fix the system they created that broke everything. Good luck with that.

More as it develops…

  • http://bethmahoney.com Beth Mahoney

    I am glad this legislation is going to pass. I am so sick of the Wall Street bailouts, as the CEO’s of these companies do not seem apologetic at all, and then they use the money to take lavish corporate retreats as AIG did. Good for the Dems for passing this, enough is enough of these greedy businessmen..

  • http://itsthe21stcentury.wordpress.com Jim Satterfield

    Bipartisanship takes two willing parties, Jason. The majority of today’s Republicans won’t vote with Democrats on virtually anything. In fact I don’t think they’ll vote with them on anything but the most meaningless gestures.

  • Jimmy the Dhimmi

    The bill aims to prevent taxpayer-funded bailouts by giving authority to the federal government to sieze control of companies on the brink of bankruptcy. Why is anyone supporting this?

  • ascap_scab

    So those Republicans are now going to have to answer questions in the fall about why they aren’t supporting anything that is attempting to fix the system they created that broke everything. Good luck with that.

    Republican voters don’t care about Wall Street reform when Birth Certificates can be waved and Socialist/Communist/Nazi/Muslim can be yelled out.

  • kranky kritter

    And one has to wonder, after reading what’s in the legislation…why are Republicans opposing this?

    Hmm, presumedly if one has to wonder, then that same “one ” would be compelled to try to find out the answers. But in this case, I guess not, huh Justin? Here’s what Brown said:

    “I appreciate the efforts to improve the bill, especially the removal of the $19 billion bank tax,” Brown said. “As a result, it is a better bill than it was when this whole process started. While it isn’t perfect, I expect to support the bill when it comes up for a vote. It includes safeguards to help prevent another financial meltdown, ensures that consumers are protected, and it is paid for without new taxes.

    “That doesn’t mean our work is done,” Brown continued. “Further reforms are still needed to address the government’s role in the financial crisis, including significant changes to the way Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac operate.”

    Brown’s support clears the way for passage of the bill after West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin names a replacement for the Senate seat of Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.), who passed away last month. An announcement on the appointee isn’t expected until later in the week.

    What’s clear is that Republicans wanted more things in this bill, and withheld final approval in hopes of getting some of those changes. If, when the final vote comes, the final senate vote is 60-40, then we can presume that the bill didn’t have any republican support. If instead some more Republicans vote for it, there’s room to believe that they were previously working as a group to get a bill that better fit their ideals. As opposed to presuming that they are just big business toadies.

    And as senor dimmy demonstrates, it may be the case that those who vote against it do so because one particular component feels unacceptable. Of course, entertaining such hypotheses isn’t nearly as much partisan fun as snarky suggestions that the GOP is wholly lacking legitimate concerns.

  • kranky kritter

    Update, looks like the bill has passed and sent to Obama with no additional GOP support if yahoo’s reporting is right. I think the GOP is dumb to underestimate how much blame Americans think wall St deserves for the economic collapse. I think they’d have been better served by showing sensitivity to American anger about unethical behavior by banks, other lenders, investment ratings firms and so on.

    I for one am not so afraid of the sacred stature of “jobs, jobs, jobs” to think that we can’t risk curbing abuses by powerful unethical financial firms. The episodes leading to the economic collapse of 2008 were a disgrace for many big private financial service providers. Most Americans get this. The GOP should too.

  • Edith H

    Is this the legislation that punishes innocent bystanders like regional and small banks for the sins of Wall Street? I believe Commerce Bank warned about it, but that was awhile back. Was that deleted from the final bill?

  • Laura Morton

    I don’t believe that the skies are falling. We will find that there’s nothing wrong with banks and other financial institutions having some degree of accountability. Consumers will be better served. And the banks have to do what they know to be correct and ethical.
    Bottom line, they will still be profitable.

  • Edith H

    Hope springs eternal. I hope this legislation is not a sledge hammer instead of a tweezer that focuses on those who actually engaged in fraud and misrepresentation. I don’t blame the public for being fedup and gratified that something has been done at last. I hope that the public hasn’t been snookered with yet another feel good illusion created by the politicians.
    Last summer, I watched a panel discussion about the meltdown where some bankers, academics, federal reserve governors and reporters were attempting to assign blame for the “systemic credit crisis” emphasizing that there was more to it than housing. They proposed that the top business schools were incompetent frauds too. They also noted the utter failure of a media and academia that had been satisfied with puff pieces and celebrity worship of the financial titans, and never subjected their facts to a reality check. They didn’t want to jeopardize their revenue streams. perhaps. One of the panel participants proposed prosecuting everyone, but the others objected that you can’t criminalize stupidity and naivete.
    One of the popular books on the meltdown brings additional factors to our attention. The author hypothesized that many investment execs did not understand their own products, let alone comprehend the risks. Although diversification may spread risk, it, unfortunately, is a poor substitute for due diligence. Will the legislation address arrogance, over confidence, wishful thinking, peer pressure, herd mentality, hindsight bias, taking short cuts, and, my personal weakness, too much trust in numbers and algorithms GARBAGE IN/ GARBAGE OUT? In addition to Wall Street execs and Wall St banks, there is a lot of blame to go around including regulators, federal agencies incl Treasury, speculators and flippers, insurers, accountants, the real estate industry, politicians, rating agencies. And, lest we forget the the consumer is not always the innocent victim. Panacea, not likely.