12 December, 2009

Fun With Regulatory Reform

Huzzah!  This probably will go under the radar in all the health care hoopla, but House Dems passed a regulatory reform bill, which is a gigantic step in the right direction.  The highlights:
The 1,279-page bill creates a new federal agency dedicated to consumer protection, establishes a council of regulators to police the financial landscape for systemic risks, initiates oversight of the vast derivatives market and gives the government power to wind down large, troubled firms whose collapse could endanger the entire financial system. The legislation also gives shareholders an advisory say on executive compensation, increases transparency of credit ratings agencies and sets aside billions in government funds to aid unemployed homeowners.
I love the smell of reform in the morning!

Do not miss Rep. Gutierrez spanking Cons on the House floor:
As part of regulatory reform for the financial industry, Republicans believe Democrats have created a "bailout fund." Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) yesterday decided this is a lie worth debunking in detail.
Gutierrez, who is bilingual, told his colleagues, "I've had the bill thoroughly examined by those who do speak the English language and have only spoken the English language all their life, and they cannot find the 'bailout fund' in the bill."

Ryan Grim added, "What the bill does do, [Gutierrez] explained, is create a fund that major firms must pay into. If banks get into trouble, the fund is used to take them over, break them up and sell off the parts. If such a fund was socialist, Gutierrez said, then so is Geico. But unlike Geico, he said, drivers who crash the economy don't get their bank repaired and returned to them under the Democratic plan."

In the hopes of making this easy enough for his GOP colleagues to understand, Gutierrez explained, "What they won't tell you is unlike everybody in this room who has to go and take out an insurance policy to drive a car, they want Wall Street and Goldman Sachs to be able to drive our economy into the ground without paying a cent of insurance in case they act recklessly. And all we're saying as Democrats is: 'It's simple. If you want to do business in America and you threaten the economic stability of our country, then you've got to pay into an insurance fund.'

We'll see if that was simple enough for Cons to grasp.  I somehow doubt it - he didn't bust out the crayons and construction paper.

And as the cherry on top, Rep. DeFazio and like-minded Dems are trying to get Glass-Steagall back up and running.  If you don't know why that's such a good thing, why, visit the link and rejoice.

Dear Wall Street: Ha ha ha fuck you.  Sincerely, Dana Hunter.

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