Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

Chris Dodd's financial regulation bill

PH2009110604795.jpg

Felix Salmon likes it. Kevin Drum likes the parts that Felix doesn't like (namely, a systemic risk regulator that isn't the Federal Reserve). And Mike Konczal offers more in the way of details.

I haven't had the time to sit down with it yet. But my snap reaction is that Chris Dodd is doing the right thing in coming out with a high opening bid. Few think that Congress has the appetite to consolidate banking oversight from four agencies to one agency. But it should do that. Better to start high and bargain down than start low and bargain lower.

Unlike health-care reform, where Republicans really don't want a bill and will happily reject all manner of bids, there is reason to believe that both sides want some new financial rules in place. Republicans weren't any happier than Democrats when the banks held them hostage last year. Joining with the banks to kill financial regulatory reform doesn't look like a popular move. And the big banks really are pretty disliked on the Hill. Democrats should play as if they have a strong hand on this one, as they probably do, at least at this stage in the game.

Photo credit: Susan Walsh/Associated Press.

By Ezra Klein  |  November 11, 2009; 8:17 AM ET
 
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Tab dump
Next: Will Olympia Snowe switch parties?

Comments

A year ago, we would've said that some Republicans wanted some healthcare reform, too. There was Wyden-Bennett. There were the Gang of Six. We didn't realize then that they would find greater political advantage in opposing and lying about everything, and charging the Democrats with orchestrating a massive, Stalinist government takeover.

When push comes to shove, why won't they use the same playbook here -- given that it's working very well for them? (See today's Gallup polling on generic Congressional ballots.)

Posted by: bcamarda2 | November 11, 2009 8:24 AM | Report abuse

What bcamarda2 said.

Posted by: scarlota | November 11, 2009 8:35 AM | Report abuse

I'm in the camp that believes the hostage factor will indeed play a large role in the outcome: neither Republicans nor Democrats enjoyed being forced to take hasty action and liked the secrecy of the FED even less.

Objection to Dodd's initial proposal comes from some well-informed Senators of his own party, which might lead to an overall positive outcome.

Posted by: rmgregory | November 11, 2009 8:56 AM | Report abuse

That's what I think on cap and trade, as it's a Democratic priority and unpopular with the Republican base. But the Tea Partiers hate the banks, too. I don't think the politics play out the same way.

Posted by: Ezra Klein | November 11, 2009 10:05 AM | Report abuse

--"a massive, Stalinist government takeover."--

The feds need only inject themselves a little deeper into food production and distribution, ramp up the war against what's left of the free press, and Stalin will have been almost completely rehabilitated in the U.S.

Banks, autos, housing market, health care, attacks on the fourth estate, massive redistribution, what do you call what's going on?

Posted by: msoja | November 11, 2009 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Was listening to NPR right as I woke up and they were talking about the bill. The reporter noted that Republicans were opposed to the consumer protection stuff, and the host asked if Republicans were opposed to protecting consumers from fraud. The reporter did this great hemming and hawing routine in order to keep from having to say that Republicans hate average Americans.

Posted by: flounder2 | November 11, 2009 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, I forgot Cap & Trade. So much for the land of the free, and the home of the brave. It's Kleinland.

Posted by: msoja | November 11, 2009 10:43 AM | Report abuse

--"Republicans hate average Americans."--

So, the party that (ostensibly) contends that individuals are intelligent enough to take their own precautions against fraud "hates Americans", while the party that wants to usurp that individual responsibility on the grounds that people aren't capable of fending for themselves against the unscrupulous loves the people. Have I got that right?

Posted by: msoja | November 11, 2009 10:48 AM | Report abuse

"Have I got that right?"

Absolutely: financial regulation to protect people against fraud is "Stalinism", while the GOP loves Americans by letting them "fend for themselves against the unscrupulous". I love it.

Posted by: carbonneutral | November 11, 2009 11:22 AM | Report abuse

--"the GOP loves Americans by letting them"--

In a free country, citizens don't have to abide with politician "letting them" do anything, but that's the perversion a hundred years of creeping collectivism has wrought.

Soon, the government will be wiping peoples' asses for them.

Posted by: msoja | November 11, 2009 11:48 AM | Report abuse

Even Alan Greenspan finally came to recognize that greed of sociopathic proportions does exist in some people (let's call them "predators") and needs to be restrained lest they tank the whole system over and over.

It isn't that average Americans are stupid or can't think for themsleves. Rather, the information is so assymetric (fraudsters always know more because they devised the system, after all, plus they withhold and deceive) and the financial sector has become so arcane that no average person, and even very few above-average persons canh hold their own against the predators.

It never ceases to amaze me that people who think of themselves as realistic and tough-minded can be so naive about the predelictions of the financial predators among us. You might almost think they want to make the system safe for predators rather than for average people.

And Ezra is right about the politics here. It will be fun weatching the economic libertarians fight the populist tea partiers within the GOP.

Posted by: Mimikatz | November 11, 2009 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Chris and Barney Frank should get together and offer one plan with identical features (including getting the Fed out of regulation - the Fed is not a government agency and its various regions leaders are chosen by BANKERS).

I'd even go the Andy Jackson route and make the Fed go away or be subordinate to the Treasury.

Banking should not only be boring, it should be just a regulated utility. Safe, predictable, and certainly regulated within an inch of their lives. No 'innovation' needed or wanted, thank you.

Posted by: JimPortlandOR | November 11, 2009 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Banks, autos, housing market, health care, attacks on the fourth estate, massive redistribution, what do you call what's going on?

Hyperbole from hysterical nutcases who think the alarmist ymmaerings on their favorite blogs reflect what's going on in the real world.

Posted by: eleander | November 11, 2009 12:11 PM | Report abuse

--"[T]he financial sector has become so arcane that no average person, and even very few above-average persons canh hold their own against the predators."--

I assume you're speaking for yourself. I'm always amazed, though, how collectivists just HAVE to shackle everyone else down at their level of incompetence and victimhood. Maybe you're too stupid to understand the mortgage papers you're signing, but millions of people aren't.

--"Banking should not only be boring, it should be just a regulated utility. Safe, predictable, and certainly regulated within an inch of their lives. No 'innovation' needed or wanted, thank you."--

You're free to patronize the banks that are run in your preferred style, aren't you? Most banks in the country are run according to sound, conservative, established principles. As the government intrudes more and more into the financial sector, though, such bankers will have to consider the political winds that will shift with the strength of the blowhards wielding political power. Fannie and Freddie are still backing loans to people who shouldn't be buying houses. Soon, that kind of "business" will be forced on your local, small town banks, and then what will you do? Stick your money in the mattress?

--"Hyperbole from hysterical nutcases who think the alarmist ymmaerings on their favorite blogs reflect what's going on in the real world."--

Are you unaware of the government intervention in two of the three largest car manufacturing businesses? The government takeover of some of the largest banks? That the government is now underwriting about 80% of the housing market? That there is a bill in the Senate, following one passed in the house, to fully sweep the nation's health care endeavor into the arms of the federal bureaucracy? That the President and his minions have attacked the most popular cable news outlet as not being a real news organization? Are you unaware of what cap and trade will do to business and the prices consumers pay for everything? Or how about the administration attempting to gin up a little propaganda via its benefactees at the National Endowment of Arts? Which one of those is not part of the "real world"?

Posted by: msoja | November 11, 2009 3:29 PM | Report abuse

"That the President and his minions have attacked the most popular cable news outlet as not being a real news organization?"

Wait. Why can't the president of a free country speak his mind about Fox? Do you propose to introduce government regulation to protect media outlets from criticism? Why can't Fox "fend for itself" just like the rest of us? Your incoherent rantings are amusing up to a point but it's time to move on.

"Are you unaware of what cap and trade will do to business and the prices consumers pay for everything?"

In the perfect libertarian world of msoja, everybody has the right to poison his neighbor's water, air, and food. Those who suffer from the poisoning are free to fend for themselves. No rules or regulations are needed. Protecting people from poisoning their groundwater would be to "shackle everyone else down at their level of incompetence and victimhood". It would be honest for msoja to make that statement on the record: "Yes, my neighbor has the right to poison my drinking water. It's a free country, he can do what he wants. If I don't like it, I can go elsewhere." Please msoja, show for once that you are coherent.

It is, of course, easier among right wing nutcases to rant against cap and trade than to explicitly attack regulations preventing the poisoning of water but there is really no difference. CO2 is a pollutant that causes the suffering of people other than the polluter. To say that this must not be regulated is no different from advocating a right to drinking water poisoning.

Posted by: carbonneutral | November 12, 2009 11:09 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company