When senate Democrats' test-vote for cloture to open debate
on financial regulatory reform failed
with every Republican and one
Democrat opposed, it would seem to put reform at an impasse. Democrats
had hoped that public outrage regarding the economy and the SEC case
against Goldman Sachs would make Republicans more willing to bring regulatory reform. But they sure
haven't been. Far from going along with Democrats, Republican senators
have put forward their own, entirely distinct plan for regulatory
overhaul. Is it any good? Does this mean they're not going to join with
- The 8-Point Plan The Wall Street Journal's Damian Paletta summarizes
the GOP plan into eight points. Here's the first: "RESOLUTION: Would
create an orderly liquidation process for financial companies the
government believes could have an adverse impact on the financial
stability of the country if it collapsed."
- Actually Very
Similar to Dem Plan The New York Times' Edward Wyatt and
David Herszenhorn write, "While the Republican alternative was
intended to draw contrast with the Democrats’ approach, it also revealed
many areas of broad agreement, potentially bolstering the Democrats’
argument that the remaining differences could be worked out quickly and
that there was no reason for delay." Both "provide for the liquidation
of a troubled financial company" and "establish a consumer protection
agency to deal with financial companies."
- Why That Could Be
Good or Bad The Washington Post's Ezra Klein agrees "It's really
similar to the Dodd proposal!" He concludes, "Optimistic spin: The two
sides aren't that far apart on policy, so compromise, and thus passage,
will be easy. Pessimistic spin: The two sides aren't that far apart on
policy, which proves this is a political fight, which means compromise
will be nearly impossible."
- The Three Big Differences The
Washington Independent's Annie Lowrey explains them.
One: Resolution authority, which would guide regulators in
bailing out a failed bank, would get bailout funds differently. Two:
It includes "a series of reforms of the government-sponsored entities
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Dodd and the Democrats plan to deal with
housing finance in a separate comprehensive bill, though Republicans
have said they want housing finance reforms in financial regulatory
reform." Three: The bill "creates a kind of consumer protection
council; creates a supermonitor for financial stability; and gives
regulators the authority to put swaps on exchanges."
- Too Vague to Tell Liberal blogger Matthew Yglesias shrugs.
"Overall it’s extremely vague, but appears to be . . . staggeringly
similar to what’s already in Chris Dodd’s bill," he writes. "It also
does . . . something . . . on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac but it’s
impossible to tell what."
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