Is the Senate Financial Reform Bill Any Good?

Ken AshfordCorporate Greed, Economy & Jobs & DeficitLeave a Comment

Edmund Andrews, who used to cover these issues for the New York Times and now is at the Fiscal Times and blogging at Capital Gains and Games, says it’s very good indeed:

Against that backdrop, it’s astonishing that the Senate bill actually became stronger as the process dragged on. The proposed consumer financial protection agency is stronger and I believe more independent than it would have been in the original Senate bill (more on that in a moment). The multi-trillion market in financial derivatives, which is almost unregulated right now, would for the most part have to be take place on exchanges or at least through clearinghouses — either of which require greater transparency and more pfront capital by the players. Banks, whose deposits are federally insured, would be prohibited from trading derivatives. And as an added surprise bonus, from none other that freshman Senator Al Franken, the bill includes a very smart reform to fix the corrupt busines model of credit-rating agencies.

You can argue that some of these reforms will backfire, and some probably will. But you cannot argue that the reforms amount to little or nothing. These are big changes.


The New York Times has a nice summary.