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It's good to be number 60

The House and Senate are reconvening the conference committee to drop the language that offended Scott Brown. CNBC has the likely compromise:

The conferees will propose ending the Treasury Department’s authority to require banks to accept additional TARP funds. While this authority would sunset over time rather than end immediately, budget rules say that this would result in a savings of something like $10 billion to $11 billion.

Additional FDIC premiums also are being considered to bring in $3.5 billion, bringing the total closer to the $19 billion the lawmakers sought to raise with the bank tax. Republicans are expected to accept this deal. The biggest banks would be subject to the higher FDIC fees, but not hedge funds, since they are not part of the FDIC system. On the other hand, smaller banks — exempted from the fee under the current bill — that operate under the FDIC system would likely find themselves footing the bill.

So rather than a bank tax, which Scott Brown worried would take capital out of the banking system, we're going to drop part of the TARP program that was ... putting capital into the banking system. And rather than making big banks and big hedge funds foot the bill, FDIC fees will be hiked so that small banks have to pay in but hedge funds don't.

By Ezra Klein  |  June 29, 2010; 5:21 PM ET
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Next: Unreconciled


With this kind of excellent lobbying and spineless Congress when can we schedule the next national financial disaster and bailout BBQ?

I happen to have slot just after the 2012 elections. By then EVERYONE will have forgotten Scott Brown and how he avoided the promised close door deals.

I think the banks deserve some additional subsidies for this kind of measurable gall.

Posted by: jake3D | June 29, 2010 5:41 PM | Report abuse

Disgusting, absolutely disgusting. The big banks and hedge funds caused the mess, the principles at those places earned millions of dollars, and then the cost of the clean up falls on the smaller banks.

What a corporate, opportunistic hack of a Republican. Why can't tea partiers see that the current Republicans are only interested in enriching themselves and their networks amongst the very richest of Americans. I don't usually write this kind of populist trollop, but this kind of behavior just goes beyond the pale.

Posted by: ChicagoIndependant | June 29, 2010 5:49 PM | Report abuse

I presume the reason the Conference Committee isn't considering changes that would get Feingold's or Cantwell's vote (instead of trying to retain Brown) is that in doing so the Conferees stand to lose more than just Brown?

Posted by: pbasso_khan | June 29, 2010 5:53 PM | Report abuse

I really hate Scott Brown. What a craven jackass. Well, the banks sure got their money's worth with their campaign contributions to him. Thanks Massachusetts, for nothing.

Posted by: lcrider1 | June 29, 2010 5:54 PM | Report abuse

I did not vote for Scott Brown but I tried to give him the benefit of the doubt, he is from a very liberal state, I thought perhaps he would be more of an independent voice. This however is a disgrace. Scott Brown negotiated a "special deal" (he campaigned AGAINST special deals) for his buddies in the MA big banks and then threatened not to vote for the bill anyways because of taxes on the banks to pay for it!? Taxes on the banks that would have been a drop in the bucket for them. The whole thing is a mess and the sad thing is most voters will never understand what Scott Brown did here.

Posted by: donnitas | June 29, 2010 6:16 PM | Report abuse

Brown campaigned with the lone number, "41," as a rallying symbol.

It appears that 41 is the new 60.

Posted by: Rick00 | June 29, 2010 6:28 PM | Report abuse

I can't even wrap my head around the logic of this compromise. Love hedge funds, impartial to big banks, loathe community institutions? I don't even know if Brown has a philosophy. It's genuinely baffling.

Posted by: strawman | June 29, 2010 7:45 PM | Report abuse

strawman: The previous proposal was a tax, this is not a tax. As has been said before (I think on this blog) Republicans seem to have put the cart in front of the horse by making opposition to taxes so central that they prefer to support policies which are flagrantly less efficient but which are technically not taxes.

The fact that Scott Brown isn't really that much of a conservative ideologically and is to an extent trying to extract a pound of flesh to show his base how tough on taxes he is probably exacerbates this.

Posted by: usergoogol | June 29, 2010 8:34 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Massachusetts.

At least he won't say mean things about the friggin' Sox.

That makes up for it all.

Posted by: pj_camp | June 29, 2010 9:00 PM | Report abuse

How is anyone surprised? This is how politicians act.

Scott Brown wants to raise funds from small banks to help pay for regulation intended primarily for big banks and hedge funds. Barney Frank would prefer to cut the F-35 program, but as long as its around he's perfectly okay spending money building the extra engine the military doesn't even want in his district.

Posted by: justin84 | June 29, 2010 9:06 PM | Report abuse

Only the Senate could come up with this magic trick!

Posted by: cautious | June 30, 2010 1:59 AM | Report abuse

shorter justin84:

Hey, look over there!

Posted by: Patrick_M | June 30, 2010 3:26 AM | Report abuse

Actually, Brown's only #59 now that Byrd (RIP) has passed on. Either that, or you're counting on WV's governor appointing a replacement before this vote, which would be a bit cold before Byrd's even in the ground.

TARP has served its purpose. It was more often used as a slush fund for bailouts of politically-connected enterprises (e.g. Chrysler & GM) than its stated purpose, anyway.

Posted by: mike_w_long | June 30, 2010 6:06 AM | Report abuse

For a humorous but deadly-serious look at why Fin Reg is important, Readers might be intrigued by my new series, Capital Punishment - Markets Through the Looking Glass. The latest is "Midnight Death Threats and Kittens With Their Throats Slashed."

"Think you’re too sophisticated to be terrorized by anonymous short-seller thugs? Just wait until they start leaving baby animal carcasses on your doorstep."

(Dr. Ellen Brandt is founder of the Centrists and Media Revolution Groups at Linked In and the Centrists, Boomer Network, and Ivy League Twibes at Twitter. The former long-time business editor of a major US women's magazine, earlier in her career, she served as a corporate investor relations manager and was a regional vice president of the National Investor Relations Institute.)

Posted by: venerability | June 30, 2010 1:34 PM | Report abuse

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