What's In The Financial Reform Bill?

Now that the Senate has passed the financial reform bill, it’s off to non-smoke-filled rooms, where it will go into a Blendtec with the version passed by the House last year. CNNMoney.com sifted through all 1,600 pages of the bill and came up with a handy cheat sheet explaining what’s actually likely to change when this thing becomes a law.

Here are some of the main points:

Dealing with ‘too big to fail’ firms: Creates a new process for unwinding big financial firms that reembles the powers that the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. has to shut failing banks.

Breaking up banks: Gives regulators strengthened powers to break up financial companies that have grown too big and threaten to destabilize the financial system.

Creating a consumer agency: Establishes an independent Consumer Financial Protection Bureau housed inside the Federal Reserve. Bank fees fund the agency, which would set rules to curb unfair practices in consumer loans and credit cards.

New oversight power: Creates a new oversight council that would look out for major problems at large financial firms. The Treasury Department gains a key role in enforcing tougher regulations on larger firms and watching for systemic risk. The council also has veto power over new rules proposed by new consumer regulator.

There’s a lot more, so be sure to check out the full list. Or go ahead and read all 1,600 pages, and let us know what you find.

Wall Street reform: What’s in the Senate bill – May. 21, 2010 [CNNMoney.com]