House Passes Financial Reform Bill

The House of Representatives today passed the Wall Street Financial Reform and Consumer Protection Act, with a 223-202 vote. No Republicans voted for the bill, and 27 Democrats joined the nay column, If passed by the Senate and signed by President Obama, the bill would create the Consumer Financial Protection Agency and either fix a broken financial system or lead to a government takeover of Wall Street, depending on your perspective.

President Obama praised the bill’s passage, saying:

The crisis from which we are still recovering was born not only of failure on Wall Street, but also in Washington. We have a responsibility to learn from it and to put in place reforms that will promote sound investment, encourage real competition and innovation and prevent such a crisis from ever happening again.

Republicans countered that the bill will lead to further financial crises and government control of private businesses. “Their bill will continue the destruction of jobs in this country,” said New Jersey Republican Scott Garrett. Jeb Hensarling of Texas grumbled that the bill will impose “sweeping draconian powers” on the financial sector.

Consumer advocates were generally positive in their response. Consumers Union President Jim Guest praised the CFPA, saying it “would go a long way toward stopping the deceptive practices that helped spark the economic crisis a year ago.” But Public Citizen pointed out that loopholes and compromises made the bill weaker than it should have been. “The bill does very little to address industry structure,” the group said. “The biggest banks are now bigger than they were before the crisis.”

Questions, answers on Wall Street regulation bill [AP]
House financial reform bill would be good for consumers [Consumer Reports Money & Shopping Blog]

Earlier: Action Alert: Stop The CFPA Gutting

Comments

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  1. cowboyesfan says:

    Did they include the part removing Congressional oversight on future bailouts?

    Matt Taibbi has a great piece in Rolling Stone on how Obama has soldout to Wall*Street:
    http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/story/31234647/obamas_big_sellout

    • TopcatF14B says:

      I read that piece earlier and it made me realize 2 things:

      1. We will never in our lifetime see another “minority” president.

      2. Most American citizens are complacent morons who don’t care until it is too late.

      On a side note I wish he didn’t curse so much in the article because it detracts from the points he was making…

    • Dropzone56_rockingout says:

      I read the Taibbi article and was impressed. But as I started reading the comments I saw a lot of them referring to inaccuracies in the article. As I read more they seemed to concur that the points and idea of the article was sound, but the inaccuracies really detracted from the point. I wonder if this is in fact poorly researched.

  2. segfault, registered cat offender says:

    I, for one, welcome our new government-guaranteed-return-of-5%-over-inflation overlords…

    • TechnoDestructo says:

      Eh? Could you elaborate?

      • Coles_Law says:

        The “I for one welcome our new ____ overlords” is a Simpsons line. The “5% over inflation” bit is in reference to a presumed government mandate that would appear to benefit the consumer but would drive lending costs through the roof and cripple the financial industry.

        And with that, I’ve sucked every last bit of humor out of the joke. Like a humor vampire, I have left behind a lifeless husk. Joke jerky, if you will.

  3. PsiCop says:

    Hmm. “Wall Street Financial Reform and Consumer Protection Act” yields a simple acronym of WSFRCPA. Not exactly euphonic, like many recent laws (e.g. TARP, CARS). Maybe this one will be mangled into something like WaSFiRCoPrA.

    I’m surprised they didn’t put in a better effort at making something more catchy … something like GRIFTER-HELP-A (“Greed Reduction In Financial Transactions, Encouraging Restraint, and Hoping Everyone Lives Prosperously Act”).

    All right, that was ridiculous … can anyone else do better?

  4. MooseOfReason says:

    We need regulation of the government. That’s what we need.

  5. twophrasebark says:

    I am one of the most liberal people on Earth and I don’t think we need this new agency. Nor do I think that creating the agency will cause the end of life on Earth or whatever the Republicans are saying.

    I really don’t know what the answer is. Every time something does work in reigning in insane abuses, the corporations push and push until the laws or regulations are neutered and ignored.

  6. lesbiansayswhat says:

    Too little too late? The reforming we’ve done so far with finances and health care has been massively disappointing, so much so that I welcome daily news about Tiger Woods instead of reading updates from the Hill. Our govt is in the shits.

  7. faultolerant says:

    So, Consumer’s Union is pro-government? That’s like giving more power to the foxes to guard the chicken coop. Dumb Dumb Dumb

    • jamar0303 says:

      How, exactly? After all this I hardly trust US or European financial institutions anymore. Certainly the government seems to have been spineless in the “heat of the moment” but that’s better than “out to screw everyone”. If I return to America my money will either be with Bank of East Asia, Union Bank (a full Mitsubishi-UFJ Financial Group subsidiary) or some other Asian bank. Maybe a credit union otherwise. But not with Citi or any “too big to fail” bank anymore.

    • psm321 says:

      More like giving more power to the chickens to try and guard us against the foxes :)

      • faultolerant says:

        Well, not quite….

        Consumer’s Union seems to believe all us poor, dumb consumers are chickens. And that the government will “rescue” us from evil-doers. So, the ‘foxes’ in Washington get more power to regulate our lives….now THERE’S a good plan (NOT!)

        Frankly, CU is naive to believe that, first, government gives a flying fig about us little people, and, secondly, that more regulation will do more good than harm.

  8. AndyfromIL says:

    “So, Consumer’s Union is pro-government?” That would/could be a funny joke, if you meant it as one. Like the old punch-line about a bear in the woods.

    On this topic, Consumerist says: “…and either fix a broken financial system or lead to a government takeover of Wall Street, depending on your perspective.”

    There is a third alternative, that the Congress is captured by Wall Street, just like Obama and Bush are/were. If this bill passes, you can be assured that Wall Street/K Street wrote the bill or gutted the stronger parts, and nothing will really change.

    The government is so bought and paid for it isn’t funny anymore, but people are still gullible enough to believe the spin that “reform” passed the House. Whatever.

    Best news coverage this year has come from alternative media/blogs, that will probably continue.

  9. Chuck Norris' wig says:

    You’re a damn fool if you believe Wall Street didn’t write this bill.

  10. Esquire99 says:

    For those of you who are convinced that Wall Street wrote this bill (not that I’m saying you’re wrong), but what does that say about our Representatives and Senators? These people who are so easily bought and sold are the ones that you want to give MORE power too? It’s not Wall Street or K Street’s fault that Capitol Hill is full of sell-out, corrupt politicians who care far more about their self-interest (staying in office, power, etc.) than they do about the people who elected them. Wall Street is only doing the logical thing, which is buying something that they clearly see is for sale. The real problem isn’t Wall Street (or K Street for that matter), it’s the fact that the politicians are so willing to cave in, sell-out and act like agents rather than act like the elected representatives that they are supposed to.

    • Major Annoyance says:

      What do we NEED to say about our representatives and senators? Once you’ve said that thy make 10-20-50 times their government salaries in donations from Wall Street and big business, do we really wonder where the loyalties of most of them are going to come down?

      Get real people… 80% of you live in states and congressional districts where the interests of the majority have been subordinated to those of the guys providing the big contributions, fancy balls and dinners, golf junkets, etc. for years now.

      And as long as you keep electing the same sock puppets, lap dogs and Wall Street flunkies, you’re going to keep getting what you’re getting now and face it… all most of you are interested in is how we can blame the guy the next level or two DOWN the food chain for all of our problems.

      Last I heard, s**t didn’t ROLL uphill.

    • Major Annoyance says:

      What do we NEED to say about our representatives and senators? Once you’ve said that thy make 10-20-50 times their government salaries in donations from Wall Street and big business, do we really wonder where the loyalties of most of them are going to come down?

      Get real people… 80% of you live in states and congressional districts where the interests of the majority have been subordinated to those of the guys providing the big contributions, fancy balls and dinners, golf junkets, etc. for years now.

      And as long as you keep electing the same sock puppets, lap dogs and Wall Street flunkies, you’re going to keep getting what you’re getting now and face it… all most of you are interested in is how we can blame the guy the next level or two DOWN the food chain for all of our problems.

      Last I heard, s**t didn’t ROLL uphill.

      • Esquire99 says:

        I should be clear, I have no problem whatsoever with Representatives being against more financial regulation, etc. if they truly feel that it’s in their constituents best interests. Personally, I don’t think that more regulation is in anyone’s interest, but that’s not at issue here. My point is merely that many Representatives and Senators don’t make decisions based on what they truly believe is best for the people who elected them; they make the decisions based on protecting their personal self-interests and that frequently comes down to money (in the form of campaign contributions, etc.).
        On top of all of the BS in Congress, we have a President, who is elected by a NATIONWIDE vote (electoral college aside), who recently stated that his constituents aren’t the “Wall Street Fat Cats.” When did the President stop being a “representative” of ALL Americans and start being a representative of only those he deems “worthy?” When did it stop being the President’s job to look out for the interests of ALL Americans and to make decisions on what is best for EVERYONE, and not just some Americans? The President has also insisted that Wall Street stop fighting reform, because apparently people and companies no longer have a right to oppose proposed legislation. Perhaps Obama should focus less on telling Wall Street to stop exercising their rights and focus instead on telling members of Congress to stop making decisions based on their personal self-interest or along “party lines” and start voting based on their constituents interests.

    • CarbonFiberFootprint says:

      People vote for actors, they vote for an ideal image. You do not even have to provide them with many options.

  11. Bkhuna says:

    When buying and selling are controlled by legislation, the first things to be bought and sold are legislators.

    P. J. O’Rourke

  12. H3ion says:

    What’s the likelihood on Senate passage? This may be one of those circumstances where the House, facing an election year, can point to some consumer protection legislation knowing it will never pass the Senate.

    I also don’t understand why the SEC wouldn’t have the authority to regulate derivatives or why Congress wouldn’t provide that authority without creating another agency. The CFTC already has authority to regulate futures trading in commodities and this would be very much the same.

  13. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    Seriously, Republicans. Can Democrats do no right? The GOP doesn’t want to be known as the party of “no” but they continuously reject any significant bill broght to the table, and I haven’t heard of any ideas coming out of the GOP that are brought to Congress to be voted on. Why don’t you try doing something instead of preventing anything from happening.