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    Senate Financial Regulation Bill: How Fast Can You Read 1,336 Pages?

    At 1,336 pages, the Dodd financial services regulation bill proposal, which the Senate Banking Committee will begin to consider today, includes language that could create a permanent bank bailout. It is also filled with other significant issues, any one of which could cause serious damage to the economy or consumers … More

    Missing the Important Issues on Derivatives Reform

    Senator Chris Dodd’s monstrous 1336-page financial reform draft includes a whopping 217 pages devoted to “improving” over-the-counter derivatives markets. Dodd the derivatives section may be replaced by a yet-to-be-released bipartisan compromise from Senators Jack Reed and Judd Gregg. But the Dodd draft suggests that legislators are focused on bureaucratic imperatives … More

    Senator Dodd and Financial Regulation: New Plan, Old Problems

    There’s more going on in Washington this week than health care reform. Giving up on efforts to get a bipartisan deal on financial regulation, Senate Financial Services Committee chair Chris Dodd today released his own plan – sans GOP support – for “fixing” the financial system. The goal, according to … More

    Consumer Financial Protection: Thinking Outside the Boxes

    Is a congressional compromise on financial services regulation in the works? Steven Pearlstein of the Washington Post today reports the answer is “yes,” citing progress in negotiations between Democratic Sen. Chris Dodd of Connecticut and GOP Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee. Specifically, Pearlstein points to a breakthrough on one of … More

    Treasury to TARP Inspector General: Drop Dead

    The special inspector general for the TARP program, Neil Barofsky, has made a reputation for himself by issuing tough assessments of the troubled federal program for troubled assets. It’s been a problem for Tim Geithner’s Treasury Department. No one, after all, wants a watchdog at their heels. Treasury’s solution: muzzle … More

    Credit Card Regs No Credit to Congress

    Who said the 111th Congress has never accomplished anything? Today, major parts of the Credit Card Act of 2009 take effect. Enacted last May with great fanfare, the legislation restricts rate increases on existing balances, requires promotional rates to last at least six months, limits over-limit fees, mandates 45 days … More

    Severe Weather Warning for Commercial Real Estate: New TARP Not the Answer

    The Congressional Oversight Panel (COP), the watchdog board created by Congress to oversee the TARP program, yesterday issued the equivalent of a severe weather warning for commercial real estate markets. Like the residential market before it, the markets for retail, apartment, and other business properties are facing a wave of … More

    TARP Inspector General: Same Road, Faster Car

    In an unusually harsh report released yesterday, the government’s Special Inspector General for TARP blasted the bailout program, charging that it has not only failed to meet its goals, but that — absent change — it may have made things worse. Among other things, Inspector General Neil Barofsky concluded that … More

    President Obama and the War on Banks

    Forget the war on terrorism, the war on drugs, even the war on poverty. President Obama seems to have declared a new war, a war on banks. It was launched last week with the proposal of a “bank tax,” supposedly meant to get TARP bailout money back to taxpayers (although … More

    Reuters: "France Welcomes Obama's Bank Regulation Proposals"

    According to a Reuters report, French economy minister Christine Lagarde today applauded President Obama’s call for more regulation of the U.S. financial sector. “I am delighted that [the] president of the United States is following our lead,” she added. In a possibly related story, the Dow Jones yesterday dropped by … More