Jamesb101.com

commentary on Politics and a little bit of everything else

Update on the Wall Street Financial Reform Bill……

This from desmoinesdem over @ MyDD……

These thirteen senators have been named to the conference committee that will reconcile differences between the financial reform bills approved by the House last December and the Senate last week. They include eight Democrats and five Republicans, eight members of the Banking Committee and five from the Agriculture Committee. The House will also have 13 representatives on the conference committee; House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank has recommended these eight Democrats, but I haven’t seen a list of the five Republican members yet.

On the key differences between the House and Senate versions of financial regulations, see Pat Garofalo’s Wonk Room chart and this post by David Dayen. Senator Tom Harkin of Iowa, who is one of the conferees, promised yesterday to

“do everything in my power to preserve the bill’s integrity, strengthen its consumer protections, and stop the reckless financial wheeling and dealing that destabilized our economy and threw millions of Americans out of work. And, given the dangers they pose if not properly regulated, I plan to focus on preserving the key reforms in the Senate-passed derivatives portion of the bill. The Restoring American Financial Stability Act is a step in the right direction, and I look forward to improving it in conference.”

Harkin has his work cut out for him if he wants to preserve the Senate language on derivatives.Dayen wrote last week,

Everyone expects the 716 provision, which forces the mega-banks to spin off their swaps trading desks, to be excised in conference. But Michael Greenberger believes something like it will be retained. The House’s derivatives piece is a mess and nearly useless, but [conference committee chairman] Barney Frank has admitted a mistake on that front, and wants to preserve strong rules against derivatives, like in the Senate bill.

The smart money is on the conference committee dropping the strong derivatives language after the Arkansas Democratic primary runoff election on June 8. Until then, corporate hack Senator Blanche Lincoln needs to be able to brag about standing up to Wall Street lobbyists.

More……..

Advertisements

May 26, 2010 Posted by | Blogs, Breaking News, Government, Law, Media, Men, PoliticalDog Calls, Politics, The Economy, Updates, Women | , | 1 Comment

Wall Street Financial Reform Bill……Winners and Losers…..

Someone had to do the early talley……

This from Erra Klien over @ The Washington Post……

Winners

— Community banks: Exempt from the hefty regulatory fees assessed on larger banks and left mostly free of a new consumer watchdog bureau’s oversight.

— Hedge funds: Could reap a windfall if big banks are ultimately forced to spin off their derivatives-trading businesses.

— Derivatives exchanges: Mandatory clearinghouses for derivatives trades could make their expertise in the market for these securities more valuable and increase their business.

— Institutional investors: Gain greater say over the makeup of corporate boards.

Losers

— Community banks: Hit by restrictions on an investment commonly used to satisfy minimum reserve requirements.

— Big banks: Face new restrictions that could cut their profitability by barring them from trading with their own money and forcing them to spin off some lucrative trading operations.

— Credit card companies: Have far less power over fees charged to retailers on credit-card transactions.

— Consumer credit lenders: Pawnbrokers and payday lenders would be subject to greater scrutiny from the consumer protection watchdog.

— Ratings agencies: Face new legal liability if their judgments on the safety of investments turn out to be wrong.

May 22, 2010 Posted by | Counterpoints, Government, Law, Media, PoliticalDog Calls, Politics, The Economy, Updates | , | 9 Comments

The Senate passes the Wall Street Financial Reform Bill 59 to 39…….

I told ya they would do it……

Now the two houses bills must be reconciled……

The key Senator on the vote was Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown. along the rellaible….Senator’s Snowe and Collins…..

They went along with Democrats……..and Brown bargined for protection for the Boston Based Mutual Funds companies in the bill…..

(That is how it’s done folks….)

Democratic leaders were working to set a final vote on the bill late Thursday. Mr. Reid said he would like to vote Thursday, “in the best of all worlds.” But it remained possible the vote would be delayed until Friday.

Only 51 votes are needed for the bill to pass in the final Senate vote. The 60-40 vote earlier Thursday made final passage in the Senate very likely.

The legislation, in broad terms, is designed to close the regulatory gaps and end the speculative trading practices that contributed to the 2008 financial-market crisis, which prompted federal regulators to engineer a series of taxpayer bailouts of financial institutions.

The legislation would restrict bank trading in complex financial instruments known as derivatives, which are often used by companies to hedge against changes in commodity prices or interest rates. Many lawmakers contend that speculation in derivatives, including by large banks, contributed to the 2008 crisis. The bill includes provisions that not only would create more oversight of the derivatives market but possibly force banks to spin off their derivatives-trading operations.

The bill would also create a new system and authority for regulators to liquidate large failed institutions. And it prohibits the government from propping up large institutions in the future with public money.*

The bill would create a regulator—within the Federal Reserve—with the mandate to protect consumers from abusive financial practices across a range of products, from home mortgages to credit cards. The regulator would have independent rule-making authority. But the agency’s rules could be reviewed—and blocked after the fact—by a council of regulators created by the legislation to protect the financial system more broadly against risky activities.

The bill would also restructure the way financial companies of all sizes are overseen. The Federal Reserve would have new powers to regulate the country’s largest financial firms, regardless of whether they are banks.

The legislation consolidates the country’s national bank and thrift regulators into one agency to prevent companies from shopping for lighter supervision. It would also clear the way, for the first time, for the government to audit certain emergency-lending programs at the Fed……

More……..

* Don’t bet on this one….If they need to to they’ll figure out to get around it……

May 20, 2010 Posted by | Blogs, Breaking News, Government, Law, Media, PoliticalDog Calls, Politics, The Economy, Updates | , | 3 Comments

President Obama could get The Wall Street Financial Reform Bill on his desk by the end of the week…..

While there is still a little back and forth on the fine points….

The Senate is just about finished with the BIll…..

The whole thing has been propelled along by the almost daily stories of shady dealing in the public eye….carried by the media…..

Both parties find it in their interest to be the good guy against Wall Street……

Passage of a 1,400-page bill to overhaul the nation’s financial regulations would come just two months after Obama signed a landmark health-care overhaul. But in the case of financial regulation, much more so than with health care, the Senate bill largely reflects the administration’s initial blueprint, despite the fervent efforts of lobbyists and lawmakers of all stripes to alter it.

Democratic leaders and administration officials have been careful not to boast about their success in keeping the legislation mostly intact, with some provisions growing even tougher during the Senate debate.

“I’m hesitant to talk about it being done, because it’s not,”Sen. Christopher J. Dodd (D-Conn.), who has shepherded the bill through the Senate, said in an interview from Connecticut over the weekend. But, he allowed, “we are on the cusp of doing something pretty significant.”

Republicans acknowledge that passage seems certain and that a handful of GOP members likely will join Democrats, which would surpass the 60-vote threshold needed to overcome a filibuster.

From the administration’s viewpoint, “this bill has got to be an out-of-the-park home run,” said Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), who had negotiated with Dodd but doesn’t support the current Senate bill, saying it unnecessarily expands government power and does not address the core causes of the crisis. “I realize this bill is going to pass. Just policy-wise, it ended up in a different place than I had hoped.”

The bill would, among other things, create an independent consumer watchdog aimed at protecting borrowers from lending abuses, establish oversight of the vast derivatives market and enable the government to wind down large, failing firms……

More……..

May 17, 2010 Posted by | Breaking News, Government, Law, Media, Men, PoliticalDog Calls, Politics, The Economy, Updates | , , | 7 Comments

Both political parties work together to get the Wall Street Reform Bill done…..

The Dog reported that both parties would get along to get a bill done….

This issue is just too good for every congressmen to keep fighting each other…

Of course the market drop……and the mystery of the bogus trade info makes it even more important politically…

For Congress to appear to be spanking Wall Street and the Big Financial institutions…..

Almost as the founders planned it, senators are considering amendments to a massive financial regulatory bill without any of the usual procedural obstructions that eat up time and force 60-vote thresholds before anything can happen. Democrats are co-sponsoring Republican amendments and vice versa, and some measures are winning unanimous or near-unanimous majorities.

Lawmakers in both parties have embraced the freewheeling environment as a break from the bitter partisanship that marred the health-care debate. That acrimony still lingers over the Senate. Bipartisan talks on immigration and climate change collapsed last week, and Republicans are refusing to release “holds” on scores of executive branch nominees.

But the seamless Republican opposition that had been the hallmark of Minority Leader Mitch McConnell‘s tenure has frayed in recent weeks. GOP senators are forging alliances with Democrats and voting against measures offered by fellow Republicans. They are trying to reshape a bill they don’t like the old-fashioned way — in an open process on the Senate floor.

“It is my hope that this bill will not only produce a good product at the end but also have the healing quality that this institution needs,” Senate banking committee ChairmanChristopher J. Dodd (D-Conn.) said this week. “We’ve been through a lot this Congress, and we need to get back to acting like colleagues.”

There are no signs that Republicans have lost confidence in McConnell, acknowledged as a savvy inside operator even by his Democratic opponents. But the shift does signal that the just-say-no approach he employed until recently has its limits, particularly in an election year when voters are angry at both parties and appear to be gravitating to outsiders.

How long this reasonable phase will last is an open question. Republicans are predicting smooth passage for President Obama‘s Supreme Court pick. A food-safety bill headed to the Senate floor later this month has picked up GOP co-sponsors. Senate Republican leadership aides said upcoming debates over unemployment and war funding could prove anticlimactic, provided Democrats refrain from attaching unrelated provisions.

Or the goodwill could vanish quickly…….

More……..

May 8, 2010 Posted by | Breaking News, Counterpoints, Government, Law, Media, Men, Other Things, PoliticalDog Calls, Politics, The Economy, Updates, Women | , , | 1 Comment

The Republicans will end the filibuster of Wall Street Reform Bill….

The Dog said a few days ago this bill is going to be law…and soon…

McConnell wants to be back Kentucky for the Derby this weekend..

And the rest of his party realize that they are getting dangerously close to being labeled the party of ‘No’…..

Besides they will get a few bennies by working’ inside out’..not standing out in the rain …..like they did on Healthcare…..

After voting three times this week to block debate, GOPsenators decided to reverse course and attempt to reshape the bill through the amendment process. The change in tactics came after Senate banking committee ChairmanChristopher J. Dodd (D-Conn.) and the ranking Republican on the panel, Sen. Richard C. Shelby (Ala.), announced that they had again reached an impasse in their efforts to reach abipartisan compromise.

Democrats had embraced the GOP filibuster as an opportunity to portray Republicans as defenders of powerful special interests, in particular major banks and investment houses. Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid(D-Nev.) had threatened to keep the Senate in session overnight Wednesday to reap maximum political benefits.

Speaking at a rally in Quincy, Ill., an economically depressed Mississippi River town, President Obama hailed the bill’s advancement and assured an exuberant audience of 2,300 people that the financial sector would face tough new restrictions. “It was one of those heads, they [win] — tails, you lose” situations on Wall Street, Obama said. “What was working for them was not working for ordinary Americans.”

After Shelby and Dodd announced their impasse, Reid andSenate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) delivered back-to-back Senate floor statements, agreeing that proceedings would begin at 12:15 p.m. Thursday. Reid said he would allow votes on numerous GOP amendments, a pledge that some Republican senators had sought before agreeing to lift their objections.

“It is my hope that the majority’s avowed interest in improving this legislation on the Senate floor is genuine and the partisan gamesmanship is over,” McConnell said.

Although Democrats have scaled a major procedural hurdle, final passage of the massive bill is by no means guaranteed. Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) supported the Republican filibuster on all three votes, and if Democrats decide they can’t or won’t address his concerns, they must win at least two GOP converts to push the legislation across the finish line.

The Dog isn’t worried by Nelson..who got beat-up bad on the special side deal he got for his state on the Healthcare Bill initially…..

More……

April 29, 2010 Posted by | Blogs, Breaking News, Government, Law, Media, Men, Other Things, PoliticalDog Calls, Politics, Updates | , , | 1 Comment

Republican's stop the Wall Street Fianace Bill….for now….

Everybody knew this was going to happen…

The GOP will hold tight …looking for concessions in the bill…..

The president again will have to personally step in to get it done…..

This is Healthcare all over again….drama….but it’ll get passed…..

This is the way of the US Congress….

Enjoy the ride…..

Sensing political momentum at a time of deep public anger at Wall Street, Democratic leaders said they would keep the regulatory bill on the floor — and delay the rest of their busy legislative agenda — to ratchet up the pressure on the Republicans.

Democrats said they believed the fight over financial regulation — and signs of economic recovery in many parts of the country — could help turn the tide of anti-incumbent sentiment that has them bracing for substantial losses in November.

President Obama joined in criticizing Republicans for refusing to begin debate, and urged them to “put the interests of the country ahead of party.”

“We are as vulnerable as we are today in the waning days of April 2010 as we were in the fall of 2008,” said SenatorChristopher J. Dodd, Democrat of Connecticut and chairman of the banking committee, who is the primary sponsor of the bill. “Nothing has changed, except, of course, jobs have been lost, homes have gone into foreclosure, retirement incomes have evaporated, housing values have declined.”

Republicans, too, see major advantage in their stance, with the Senate minority leader, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, using the issue to bolster his overarching political argument this year: that the Democrats’ one-party rule in Washington is detrimental.

Mr. McConnell, in a floor speech on Monday, rattled off a list of major legislation that he said had not benefited Americans in the ways Democrats had promised, including the economic stimulus measures and the health care legislation. “The days of taking the Democrats’ word for it are over,” he said.

The vote on Monday was 57 to 41, as Democrats fell short of the 60 votes needed to cut off a filibuster of a motion to proceed.

More……..

April 26, 2010 Posted by | Breaking News, Counterpoints, Government, Law, Media, Men, Other Things, PoliticalDog Calls, Politics, Projections, The Economy, Updates, Women | , , | Leave a comment

Republican’s stop the Wall Street Fianace Bill….for now….

Everybody knew this was going to happen…

The GOP will hold tight …looking for concessions in the bill…..

The president again will have to personally step in to get it done…..

This is Healthcare all over again….drama….but it’ll get passed…..

This is the way of the US Congress….

Enjoy the ride…..

Sensing political momentum at a time of deep public anger at Wall Street, Democratic leaders said they would keep the regulatory bill on the floor — and delay the rest of their busy legislative agenda — to ratchet up the pressure on the Republicans.

Democrats said they believed the fight over financial regulation — and signs of economic recovery in many parts of the country — could help turn the tide of anti-incumbent sentiment that has them bracing for substantial losses in November.

President Obama joined in criticizing Republicans for refusing to begin debate, and urged them to “put the interests of the country ahead of party.”

“We are as vulnerable as we are today in the waning days of April 2010 as we were in the fall of 2008,” said SenatorChristopher J. Dodd, Democrat of Connecticut and chairman of the banking committee, who is the primary sponsor of the bill. “Nothing has changed, except, of course, jobs have been lost, homes have gone into foreclosure, retirement incomes have evaporated, housing values have declined.”

Republicans, too, see major advantage in their stance, with the Senate minority leader, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, using the issue to bolster his overarching political argument this year: that the Democrats’ one-party rule in Washington is detrimental.

Mr. McConnell, in a floor speech on Monday, rattled off a list of major legislation that he said had not benefited Americans in the ways Democrats had promised, including the economic stimulus measures and the health care legislation. “The days of taking the Democrats’ word for it are over,” he said.

The vote on Monday was 57 to 41, as Democrats fell short of the 60 votes needed to cut off a filibuster of a motion to proceed.

More……..

April 26, 2010 Posted by | Breaking News, Counterpoints, Government, Law, Media, Men, Other Things, PoliticalDog Calls, Politics, Projections, The Economy, Updates, Women | , , | Leave a comment

The Wall Street Financial Reform Bill is supported by most American's……

That’s the results of a new Washington Post/ABC poll…which is music in Obama and the Democrats ears……

That’s playing against a report that Sen. Shelby has lined up the 41 Senate Republican’s against signing on to the Bill at this time….

More bargaining?

Yep….

Again…There will be a Bill..the GOP can’t afford to do another Healthcare thing and get shut out and labeled the party of ‘No’…..

About two-thirds of Americans support stricter regulations on the way banks and other financial institutions conduct their business, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.

Majorities also back two main components of legislation congressional Democrats plan to bring to a vote in the Senate this week: greater federal oversight of consumer loans and a company-paid fund that would cover the costs of dismantling failed firms that put the broader economy at risk.

A third pillar of the reform effort draws a more even split: 43 percent support federal regulation of the derivatives market; 41 percent are opposed. Nearly one in five – 17 percent – express no opinion on this complicated topic.

President Obama, who traveled to New York last week to deliver his case for sweeping changes to the financial system gets an even-up review of his performance on the issue, with 48 percent of those polled approving of his handling of financial regulation and 48 percent disapproving.

But compared with congressional Republicans, Obama has a clear advantage. A slim majority – 52 percent – of all Americans says they trust Obama over the GOP on the issue, while 35 percent favor the Republicans in Congress. Independents prefer Obama 47 to 35 percent, with 16 percent trusting neither side on the issue.

In the poll, most Democrats back each of the three major elements of the reform legislation and most Republicans oppose them, echoing the congressional showdown expected this week.

The area with the highest levels of cross-party support is on more robust federal oversight of the way banks and other financial companies make consumer loans, such as auto loans, credit cards and mortgages……

More…… and the poll numbers…..

Shelby piece……


“I believe that 41 Republicans right now are going to stand together,” Shelby said of Monday’s planned 5 p.m. test vote on the Senate floor. “I wish we’d stand together, period,” he added, noting that such unity would give GOP members “more negotiating power and more clout.”

Shelby’s comments to a crowd of community bankers at the Mayflower Hotel came as Democrats increasingly coalesced around the far-reaching legislation. They are eager to pressure Republicans into a difficult vote, in which liberals could characterize those who oppose the bill as trying to protect Wall Street.

More……

April 26, 2010 Posted by | Blogs, Breaking News, Counterpoints, Government, Law, Media, Men, Other Things, PoliticalDog Calls, Politics, Polls, The Economy, Updates, Women | , , | 1 Comment

The Wall Street Financial Reform Bill is supported by most American’s……

That’s the results of a new Washington Post/ABC poll…which is music in Obama and the Democrats ears……

That’s playing against a report that Sen. Shelby has lined up the 41 Senate Republican’s against signing on to the Bill at this time….

More bargaining?

Yep….

Again…There will be a Bill..the GOP can’t afford to do another Healthcare thing and get shut out and labeled the party of ‘No’…..

About two-thirds of Americans support stricter regulations on the way banks and other financial institutions conduct their business, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.

Majorities also back two main components of legislation congressional Democrats plan to bring to a vote in the Senate this week: greater federal oversight of consumer loans and a company-paid fund that would cover the costs of dismantling failed firms that put the broader economy at risk.

A third pillar of the reform effort draws a more even split: 43 percent support federal regulation of the derivatives market; 41 percent are opposed. Nearly one in five – 17 percent – express no opinion on this complicated topic.

President Obama, who traveled to New York last week to deliver his case for sweeping changes to the financial system gets an even-up review of his performance on the issue, with 48 percent of those polled approving of his handling of financial regulation and 48 percent disapproving.

But compared with congressional Republicans, Obama has a clear advantage. A slim majority – 52 percent – of all Americans says they trust Obama over the GOP on the issue, while 35 percent favor the Republicans in Congress. Independents prefer Obama 47 to 35 percent, with 16 percent trusting neither side on the issue.

In the poll, most Democrats back each of the three major elements of the reform legislation and most Republicans oppose them, echoing the congressional showdown expected this week.

The area with the highest levels of cross-party support is on more robust federal oversight of the way banks and other financial companies make consumer loans, such as auto loans, credit cards and mortgages……

More…… and the poll numbers…..

Shelby piece……


“I believe that 41 Republicans right now are going to stand together,” Shelby said of Monday’s planned 5 p.m. test vote on the Senate floor. “I wish we’d stand together, period,” he added, noting that such unity would give GOP members “more negotiating power and more clout.”

Shelby’s comments to a crowd of community bankers at the Mayflower Hotel came as Democrats increasingly coalesced around the far-reaching legislation. They are eager to pressure Republicans into a difficult vote, in which liberals could characterize those who oppose the bill as trying to protect Wall Street.

More……

April 26, 2010 Posted by | Blogs, Breaking News, Counterpoints, Government, Law, Media, Men, Other Things, PoliticalDog Calls, Politics, Polls, The Economy, Updates, Women | , , | 1 Comment