Senator Chris Dodd's financial regulatory reform bill
passed the Senate Banking Committe on Monday in 22 blistering minutes
and will now go to the Senate floor, where it is expected to face
significant debate. Now that health care has passed, Democrats are free
to pick up a new top issue. We evaluated the momentum building behind immigration reform
Now let's look at what's happening with financial regulatory reform.
Could it be the new top issue for President Obama and Congressional
- Why Dodd Rushed It Through The Atlantic's Dan Indiviglio suspects
that Dodd wanted to avoid a lengthy markup process and wanted to
"shield Senate Banking Committee Democrats from having to take hard
votes." He concludes, "So really, yesterday's vote, while an important
procedural step, isn't so significant in terms of actually making
tangible progress towards a final bill in the Senate. Instead, it just
indicates that the committee punted to the floor."
- Dodd's Bill 'Nearly Meaningless' Mother Jones' Kevin Drum sighs,
"Unless I'm badly mistaken -- which is always a possibility -- this is
nearly meaningless." Why? "The whole thing is hardly worth doing unless
it also contains some broad, deep, and mandatory limits on leverage.
And as near as I can tell, that's almost entirely missing from the
- Don't Put Geithner on This EconoBlogger Simon Johnson warns
that Teasury Secretary Tim Geithner isn't up to the task. "The sticking
point is 'too big to fail.' Mr. Geithner's Treasury (and Senator
Dodd's bill) continue to rely on the complete illusion that a
resolution authority (i.e., an augmented bankruptcy process for banks)
based on US law will do anything to help manage the failure of a large
cross-border financial institution. It simply will not." The Atlantic's
Joshua Green reached a similar conclusion.
- Dems Unifying For Reform The Washington Independent's Mike Lillis notes
that Dodd got even conservative, bank-friendly Democrats on his
committee to vote for the bill. "Dodd's ability to rally all the
Democrats behind the bill is no small achievement -- that Senate
Democrats, for once, have shown some party discipline."
- Will Dems Follow Through on Needed Improvements? The American Prospect's Tim Fernholz gets skeptical.
"I've been relatively optimistic about this bill and the prospects for
improving it," he writes. "Now, though, I am a little nervous about it.
The rhetoric from Dodd, and from President Obama, belies the fact that
this bill needs significant improvement." Fernholz explains why the
bill is a good first step but far from sufficient.
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