Financial Reform Bill Passes Senate, 60-39

Two weeks after finally getting through the House of Representatives in a heavily edited form, the financial reform bill was passed by the Senate earlier today by a vote of 60-39.

The bill, which only required a simple majority to pass through the Senate, the 60 votes was needed to short-circuit any hope of a filibuster by the opposition.

The bill did get support from three Republicans — Scott Brown of Massachusetts and Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe, both of Maine — who crossed the aisle to give their votes for the measure, which is now expected to be quickly signed into law by President Obama.

From the L.A. Times:

The bill creates a bureau within the Federal Reserve to protect consumers in the financial marketplace, establishes a council of regulators to monitor the financial system for major risks, imposes tough regulations on complex financial derivatives, grants shareholders a nonbinding vote on executive compensation and gives the government authority to seize and dismantle teetering firms whose failure would pose a danger to the economy.

While supporters of the bill say it will prevent the kind of tomfoolery that caused the recent economic meltdown, those opposed claim it will only cause more problems by increasing the government’s involvement in the financial industry.

Senate passes sweeping financial overhaul legislation [L.A. Times]

Comments

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  1. benbell says:

    Yay! More government control.

    Now we have minimum and maximum credit card charges… I guess I have to start carrying more cash once you see ‘no credit under $10′ signs everywhere.

    • ShruggingGalt says:

      Well businesses CAN have min/max limits now. Doesn’t mean that they will. My company probably won’t institute min. limits but we are aggressively looking at cash discounts.

    • Green Mountain Boy says:

      Little children….(Wall Street) aren’t mature enough to take care (regulate) themselves….so the adults (the taxpayers) have hold their hands and tell them what to do.

      Poor things.

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      That was probably the one provision I flat out disagreed with.

      I don’t think the current method (no minimum/maximum) was doing any harm whatsoever. Removing it DOES do harm to consumers.

    • ARP says:

      Yes, because its been a banner couple of years for lack of government control and/or enforcement.

      Massy Mining
      BP Gulf Spill
      Financial Meltdown
      Food recalls
      Skyrocketing healthcare costs

      • evnmorlo says:

        Those directly caused by the government. Empowering the government further is hardly the answer.

        • Daemon Xar says:

          Huh?

          • evnmorlo says:

            “Those were” if you are looking for grammatical clarification. As a followup I would point to government workers having sex with oil executives, the government suppressing interest rates causing the housing bubble, the government forbidding itself negotiating power with health-care providers. More prostitution, more market manipulation, and more no-bid purchases secured by the full faith of the USA when the crises inevitably occur are not what is needed.

            • ktetch says:

              And at no point did these companies go ‘no, that’s wrong’ .

              your point is that when the government regulated, the companies got away with murder? DESPITE THE FACT THEY COULD STILL SELF-REGULATE AS WELL.

              That’s where the talking points fall down, because it boils down to ‘companies only acted like scum because the guy supposed to be watching them wasn’t watching hard enough, but take the watcher away, and they’ll start behaving’

              What’s the weather like in that fantasy world?

              • Akuma Matata says:

                You’re lack of understanding of how a free market operates is astounding.

                What incentive did banks have to self regulate the bets they took when they knew the gov would come in and bail them out? Nothing like privatizing profit and socializing loss to incentivize big risk. Without “too big to fail”, banks would have to hedge their bets appropriately. Without gov holding down interest rates for so long and the CRA pushing them to lend to less credit-worthy borrowers, the housing bubble wouldn’t have occurred.

                So tell me, how is more gov regulation going to work when existing regulation (and enforcement of that regulation) failed miserably? SEC blew it on Bernie Madoff and they were alerted almost 10 years ago. Imagine if they had done their jobs properly.

          • Sandstar says:

            So what you’re saying is that, without government regulation, the industries would’ve policed themselves, but with government regulation, the industries just do whatever they want? Why can’t they self regulate with government regulation? Or is it that you’re just spewing talking points without really thinking about what you’re saying?

        • TailsToo says:

          So we should, what, throw in the towel and just hand over the country to the big banks?

    • NebraskaDan says:

      Vote Libertarian for great justice!

    • Griking says:

      Because the banks did such a wonderful job of controlling themselves…

      And you know what, I’m really not that broken up that people can’t purchase a $.99 soda with their credit cards.

      • Akuma Matata says:

        If you think the banks controlled themselves, you know very little about banking in America. If you look at the industries which are the most screwed up right now, the top 2 are banking and healthcare. Gov’t has its hands all over those industries, so it should be no surprise that they’re all mucked up.

        Gov’t doesn’t know the first thing about anything, yet claims to be able to tell you how to run your business. Brilliant!

        • Griking says:

          Another way of looking at it is that the most screwed up industries were the ones with the most corruption and fraud. They were also two industries that were most crucial and necessary to all Americans. Is it really any surprise that the government go its self involved?

          • Aphex242 says:

            STOP MAKING SO MUCH SENSE!

          • Akuma Matata says:

            Let’s take your argument a step further. If gov’t had to step in because those industries were full of corruption and fraud, has gov’t involvement made it better or worse for consumers in those industries?

        • ktetch says:

          “If you look at the industries which are the most screwed up right now, the top 2 are banking and healthcare. Gov’t has its hands all over those industries, so it should be no surprise that they’re all mucked up.”

          If you REALLY think the govt. has their hands all over them, you’re as clueless as your picture suggests. Go look at the FACTS, and leave the posturing, and anecdotes and members of the industry whining about having some oversight (you know, with people being held accountable instead of just ‘taking it seriously’, and the ability to get information)

          • Akuma Matata says:

            I don’t know, I think my picture says *insightful*, but to each his own.

            And yes, I REALLY think the gov is all up in those industries. You’ve provided no FACTS of your own to dispute that, however here are some of my own FACTS in response. Read up on the CRA (law), the FED and “too big to fail” for banking. And I’ll give you lack of competition across state lines, IRS loopholes, state-issued minimum coverage mandate laws, and the health “reform” bill just passed for healthcare. And those are just to start. If you’re still convinced there’s no gov’t involvement in those industries after that, let me know and I’m sure I can give you thousands of pages of more regulations to read up on.

            I’m not really sure where the rest of your comment is coming from. I’m not posturing and I’m not an industry whiner – I’d have preferred no bailouts. Nothing says take more risk like the gov’t coming in and eating your mistakes for you.

            This financial reform bill will end with politically connected banks and investment firms writing all the rules because Congress doesn’t know jack about banking and the regulators they’ve assigned to write the rules will have to consult industry representatives to assist in writing them. Crony Capitalism at its finest.

  2. Anachronism says:

    “those opposed claim it will only cause more problems by increasing the government’s involvement in the financial industry.”

    This ridiculous socialistic intervention into an industry that has proven time and time again it is fully capable of self-regulation spells the doom of capitalist America.

    left wing neo-marxist, socialist, not even born in america, hidden muslim, hater of freedom. Hmm. I feel like I am missing something in my rant here.

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      Sense?

    • c!tizen says:

      your tin foil hat?

    • paulthegeek says:

      “an industry that has proven time and time again it is fully capable of self-regulation”

      I’m curious as to what industry you’re talking about here. It doesn’t sound like any current industry that exists anywhere on this planet.

    • ARP says:

      You forgot Nazi. He’s a left wing socialist and a right wing nazi muslim all at the same time.

      PS- Goldberg’s book is so full of flat out lies, it would take months to list them all. In short, Nazi’s persecuted unionists, gays, communists, and minorities. They privitized huge swaths of industries in the late 30’s. They portrayed themselves constantly under the threat of attack and the only way to prevent that was to strike first.

    • rtwigg says:

      You are such a hate spewing liar. Can’t stand the fact the the Grand Old Partisans, whose only agenda is to bring down Obama and the current administration, lost the power and prestige of the white house for their aging war vet and the abominably stupid Palin to a young Black man? That is after Bush lied about WMDs in Iraq so he could be a war president. Never forget Watergate, Iran-Contra, Arms for Hostages, etc. Who do you pray to? That lying entertainer and fellow hate spewing guy who tells people like you how to think? And by the way, so what if Obama is a Muslim, which I doubt. Are you one of those who believe all Muslims are terrorists? If so, please leave my country NOW. People of your ilk should not be allowed to vote.

      • ARP says:

        I think he/she is doing some deeply hidden snark (at least I hope they are).

        • jason in boston says:

          Ding Ding Ding. You sir, are the winner of this thread.

        • Kavatar says:

          It’s not that deeply hidden. However, when politics are involved, people are so eager to rant against someone that they are easily fooled.

      • incident_man says:

        Let’s not forget that G Dubya proved that supply side economics (Reaganomics) is a farce. He gave all his rich buddies tax breaks to “create jobs” and they created jobs alright…..overseas jobs.

      • Anachronism says:

        Well if you don’t like ‘MERICA, then you can GEEEEET OUT.

    • DJ Charlie says:

      “Hmm. I feel like I am missing something in my rant here.”

      Common sense?

    • psm321 says:

      How did more than 50% of the replies miss the snark in your comment? Seemed pretty obvious to me…

      • Anachronism says:

        My point is, until we take back “Real America” by preventing more of these needless Marxo-Nazi regulatory interventions, we…

        I guess I lost where I was going with that one. For shame, Marxo-Nazi had such a ring to it, in a completely nonsensical way.

    • netdesign says:

      Basically it’s “get ripped off by big business” or “get ripped off by government”. I guess you prefer “get ripped off by big business”, they main goal of which is greed.

      By the way, self-regulation is NOT the answer.

      • voogru says:

        The difference between big business is, you can decide not to do business with them.

        The government just taxes you, theres no escape (except not to make any money)

  3. Green Mountain Boy says:

    Little children….(Wall Street) aren’t mature enough to take care (regulate) themselves….so the adults (the taxpayers) have hold their hands and tell them what to do.

    Poor things.

    • nova3930 says:

      Thats some funny shit given the generally piss poor job the gov’t does at maintaining any sort of discipline, especially as far as the idiots in congress are concerned…

      • dolemite says:

        I can vote congress out of office. Fat cats on wallstreet squandering my 401k? No can do.

        • NebraskaDan says:

          Can you? Who do you replace them with? Oh, I know!

          A carbon copy of the same douche you just voted out. Rich, white-collar shlub! Until normal people have even a small chance of being elected, you literally CAN NOT vote out your current Congress.

        • zifnab0 says:

          You can’t change your 401(k) investments? How strange.

  4. rbb says:

    Greaaattt… another bill with 2000+ pages that not one congresscritter read. I can’t wait to see what surprises are in this one… /sarc off

    • nova3930 says:

      You forgot to add “2000 page bill that doesn’t really address the causes of the financial crisis” ie

      loose monetary policy
      an out of control fannie/freddy
      crony capitalism
      general gov’t meddling beyond regulating transparency

      and instead removes the last vestiges of market discipline we had remaining.

      Congratulations people, “too big to fail” is now a matter of law and we’re all on the hook for it…

      • voogru says:

        remember the federal reserve was created to stop banking and financial crisis’s from happening.

        didn’t work out so great…

  5. Konwashere says:

    Anyone remember the NY Fiscal Crisis in the 1970’s when politicians such as John Lindsay sunk the city into debt? Who helped the city manage and regulate their debt? Who did politicians ask for help from during this crisis? WALL STREET BIG SHOTS BITCHES. What makes the government think they are able to manage major financial institutions in the face of a recession when the government can’t even regulate it’s own financial debt? Politicians are in office for a short time and most of them just push the problems away. They do not solve problems.

    • PunditGuy says:

      You have definitely picked the wrong decade to be a champion of private-sector competence.

      • paulthegeek says:

        “You have definitely picked the wrong decade to be a champion of private-sector competence.”

        This comment wins. I am amazed that people are still arguing in favor of financial sector self-regulation. After all that has happened. Unbelievable.

        • dolemite says:

          Inconceivable!

          Yeah, I laugh when people state our private sector has regulated themselves just fine until this point. You’ve got 2 choices:

          1.The government steps in and bails them out, then regulates them heavily.
          2. We really allow free market to reign, and all these investment/banking companies go out of business and these rich stock market guys all lose their jobs and dig ditches for a living, but they take your 401k and about 25% of the jobs in America with them.

    • grebby says:

      Management is not a synonym for regulation.

    • jamar0303 says:

      Except that, for example, China regulates its banks up the wazoo. America doesn’t. America experienced a financial meltdown. China just kept on truckin’. They consider it “slow” when the growth rate falls below double digits.

  6. benh999 says:

    Woohoo! Let’s stick it to those fat cats for taking all our money!

  7. Riroon13 says:

    My question is, who regulates the regulators?

    After seeing government at it’s best (I’m from Louisiana and know firsthand how well we fared under a Republican-controlled FEMA and a Democrat-controlled MMS), I’ve lost the faith in our government to protect us from anything.

    Are we better with a Republican view (to hell with you, we’re letting big business and the banks stomp all over your sorry ass) or a Democrat’s view (no, we still won’t protect your sorry ass, but we can write up new rules on pretty paper and pretend to).

    I seriously don’t know what is worse.

    If the government really wants to do us favors, perhaps they should stop new regulations, look in the mirror, and start seriously enforcing what is already on the books.

    • rbleader says:

      If you start questioning that, then you only end up with an infinite loop of agencies watching other agencies (that watches other agencies… and so on).

      Everything doesn’t have to be a zero-sum game. In the end, you have to trust someone, unless you are omnipotent.

      • Akuma Matata says:

        Exactly, and I’d much rather trust the free market vs a gov’t which turns everything it touches to crap

    • nova3930 says:

      a mass simplification of the law coupled with removal of liability limits would go a long way towards removing crony capitalism from the mix and keeping business from trampling people.

      Which do you think would be more effective at reigning in BPs pre-spill attitude?

      a. The MMS sitting there wagging their finger over a bigger pile of regulations or
      b. the knowledge their their cumulative liability was NOT capped and each and every shareholder was potentially on the hook for said liability

      I know which way I’m voting.

      • psm321 says:

        “I know which way I’m voting.”

        Huh? The Dems who want to add more regulations or the Repubs who don’t want to lift liability caps? Seems like neither party meets your criteria

        • nova3930 says:

          Voting as far as my a/b choices not political party. I vote “neither” as far as republicans and democrats….

        • ktetch says:

          There is more than just ‘two parties’. it’s political ignorance like that that has put this country in such a mess

    • Tim says:

      Actually, all federal agencies answer to the president. So, to directly answer your question, the president.

      • NebraskaDan says:

        The president is just a cog in the Political Machine ™. If you think the president of this country has ANY control over ANYTHING you are sadly mistaken.

  8. Paintmann says:

    All that is going to happen is the consumer (you and I) are going to get screwed in this deal. We will have the fringes (IE the unscrupulous sales people can’t swindle old ladies out of their life savings) but that is where it is going to stop. You and I are going to pay more in taxes to support this endeavor, and in reality get noting out of it.

    Let’s check the Government Score sheet for regulation and usefulness.
    Medicare – FAIL
    Medicaid – FAIL
    Welfare – FAIL
    Universal Health Care – FAIL
    Too Big to Fail – FAIL
    Financial reform – Waiting to Fail.

    • Akuma Matata says:

      You forgot oversight of offshore drilling that occurs in federal waters. They totally failed on that one too.

    • ARP says:

      Medicare – FAIL [most popular health care system next to military]
      Medicaid – FAIL
      Welfare – FAIL [How failed?]
      Universal Health Care – FAIL [didn't pass, how could it fail?]
      Too Big to Fail – FAIL [What? You're angry at the government because they weren't given the power to enforce this?]
      Financial reform – Waiting to Fail.

      • Paintmann says:

        Medicare – FAIL [most popular health care system next to military] – I would say most widely utilized as opposed to popular, but that is semantics. (ask a person on Medicare if they actually like medicare). More to point, it still leaves many people with out the medications that they need/ability to get them and little to no recourse.

        Medicaid – FAIL

        Welfare – FAIL [How failed?] Total drain on the economy and taxpayers, without any real benefit. This is how you end up with 3rd and 4th generation families on Welfare. People have spent years figuring out how to get the most out of welfare with the least amount of effort.

        Universal Health Care – FAIL [didn't pass, how could it fail?] OK, heathcare reform as opposed to universal healthcare. Perfect example is companies dropping their healthcare benefits for employees because the fines from Uncle Sam are less expensive than the healthcare itself.

        Too Big to Fail – FAIL [What? You're angry at the government because they weren't given the power to enforce this?] I am angry at the fact that they deemed companies like AIG too big to fail in the first place (despite poor business practices) and gave them billions of dollar of taxpayer money to stay afloat. Personally, I would have chopped up the good portions of the business into pieces and sold it off to AIG’s competitors.

        and +1 to John for reminding me of the BP fiasco

      • NebraskaDan says:

        Popular? That means less than nothing. It’s going broke, along with social security and literally EVERY entitlement program the government gives us. They all = FAIL. Nobody has the balls to take away these programs, so we will keep going until we are Greece and have no choice.

        Did you seriously ask how Welfare is a failure? Seriously? Wow.

        • ktetch says:

          Social Security’s going broke? Yeah, in 2047, assuming NOTHING changes between now and then. Check the figures for yourself, rather than rely on some blowhard (which includes me) telling you.

          • NebraskaDan says:

            Ummmmmm…..yeah. In 2047. So people like me and probably you (guessing you are in 20’s or 30’s) are getting nada. Except taxed for something we won’t be seeing any benefit from.

            Two options. Fix shit now on our own time, or be forced to when shit hits the fan. Simple.

  9. Akuma Matata says:

    Congress didn’t even write very many rules in this. They left this primarily to the regulators. Regulators don’t know crap about banking, so who are they going to consult when writing the actual rules? Bankers! This is like a architect asking the prisoners how to build a good prison. Sheesh!

  10. Starfury says:

    I don’t have a problem with adding a department to the Govt but they’ll need to close a temporary program to get staff/budget for it.

  11. lawnmowerdeth says:

    How can anyone be against reform? Reform is good! Hooray for reform!

  12. Greg McFarlane says:

    “gives the government authority to seize and dismantle teetering firms whose failure would pose a danger to the economy.”

    If a firm is teetering, which I presume means losing copious money, then how would its failure pose a danger to the economy? Isn’t it better that such a firm die and die quickly?

  13. NotLeftist says:

    Everyone who thinks this new “bureau” will be conscientious, scrupulous, and attentive for more than a year or so, stand on your head and spit nickels. I don’t trust this “throw more cops at everything” approach. Even worse, this “bureau” is part of the Federal Reserve. The Federal Reserve has no transparency and no public accountability. Congress voted down an audit of the Federal Reserve. Why? What is there to hide? It is already known that the Fed colluded in early (pre-TARP) bailouts that paid off at face value on bad investments. Think about that. The Fed, who is now supposed to make financiers honest, has a history of rewarding dishonest and incompetent financiers by funding bailouts.

  14. pot_roast says:

    What we really need pushed through is H.R. 3421 – the Medical Debt Relief Act. Medical bills on your credit report? When they are paid, they are removed from the reports. Gone. Deleted. This is how it SHOULD be, instead of the ridiculous mess of a credit reporting system we have now.

  15. Arthur Pennant says:

    Honestly, I don’t know a thing about financial reform, so I really hope this bill doesn’t make regulatory capture a cakewalk.. Still, once again, I’m glad we of Massachusetts elected Scott Brown. It’s nice to have a politician who doesn’t vote the party line.