Treasury and FinReg
Mike Konczal rounds up the reasons that progressives felt that the Treasury Department was not on their side during FinReg:
They fought the Collins amendment for quality of bank capital, fought leverage requirements like a 15-to-1 cap, fought prefunding the resolution mechanism, fought Section 716 spinning out swap desks, removed foreign exchange swaps and introduced end user exemption from derivative language between the Obama white paper and the House Bill, believed they could have gotten the SAFE Banking Amendment to break up the banks but didn’t try, pushed against the full Audit the Fed and encouraged the Scott Brown deal.
[...]What is worth noting is that they always end up leaving their fingerprints on the side of less structural reform and in favor of the status quo on Wall Street. These are some of the many ideas that progressives brought to the table, and there’s a documentable trail of each one of them being opposed and fought against by the administration. This is not to say that the administration is against reform. But it is to say that the problem I see is that they think what we had was a crisis where regulators didn’t have enough powers, not that the financial sector in 2007 was too dangerous and too risky. They did push hard for the CFPA, and I am thankful for that.
I'd only add that I don't think this was really a progressive vs. non-progressive debate. It's more about whether you preferred Wall Street reform or financial regulation reform. The Democrats made a concerted effort to rebrand it "Wall Street reform," as that polled better, but that really wasn't their approach. Instead, the majority of the bill was about strengthening and reforming the regulatory structure, and they opposed provisions that would take discretion from regulators and enshrine clear limits on Wall Street's behavior the law.
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