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Vague deal nearing on FinReg bill?

My first thought on this Wall Street Journal article suggesting that Sens. Richard Shelby and Chris Dodd are nearing a bipartisan bill was that it was very, very vague. In fact, the only specific policy it mentions is "the provision in the bill that would create a $50 billion fund to help close down failed firms."

But on reflection, it's actually Republicans who've been very vague on this. The only specific policy they've mentioned has been the $50 billion liquidation fund. And though I think the fund good policy, you could remove or restructure it without doing much harm to the rest of the bill. So as with a lot of these legislative battles, we're not really having a policy argument here. Republican policy objections are vague enough that it'd be easy for them to change the bill slightly and declare victory. Simultaneously, their objections are vague enough that it'd be way for them to continue opposing the bill because it's a permanent bailout for reasons they never really explain. What matters here is whether they think the politics of fighting the bill are better than the politics of supporting it. That, and not policy disputes, is what's driving this process.

By Ezra Klein  |  April 21, 2010; 7:16 AM ET
Categories:  Financial Regulation  
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Comments

The Wall Street Journal also reports that the biggest recepiants of campaign contributions from the financial industry in 2010 are Charles Schumer, Kristen Gillibrand, Harry Reid and Chris Dodd.

Will they demand meaningful financial regulatory reform when they they are taking big money from the individuals affected?

Posted by: mwhoke | April 21, 2010 9:03 AM | Report abuse

Obama was also a benefit of Wall Street largesse. Though, out of all of them, I think Obama would be the only one to seriously attempt to bite the hand that fed him. Schumer? Not a chance. Harry Reid? Not a chance. Chris Dodd. Not likely. Not unless some arms were twisted.

Republicans? Clearly, they aren't interested in changing the status quo, either.

Which is why CFR is never really going to change this (at least, for incumbents). Because CFR is authored by the same folks who will be authoring FinReg.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | April 21, 2010 9:37 AM | Report abuse

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