You may be wondering why you haven't seen a post overview on the latest Senator Dodd's Financial Reform Bill, Restoring American Financial Stability Act of 2010 (link has legislative summary and text). That's because, as usual, it's a dud.
Firstly a few summary points are listed here. The Huffington Post has a list of other criticisms, including the political on Dodd 2.0. Also, yet another New York Times op-ed points to the well known fact, putting the CFPA under the Federal Reserve will de facto kill consumer financial protection.
Make no mistake, the Republicans aren't in the people's camp either on this, now looking to just run out the clock.
Paul Volcker, testifying before the House Financial Services Committee, who has been blown off in his policy recommendations by the Dodd Dud, testified that regulators cannot be trusted to do anything (and isn't the proof in this pudding!) and this is why you need to break up commercial banking from investment banking.
In my opinion, it's very unlikely that the regulators and supervisors would evoke a strict prohibition until a crisis came and then it's too late," Volcker said. "That's why you want it in legislation."
Dylan Ratigan has a piece, below, on a Senator Dodd staff lawyer, busy buying the dirt cheap Zombie bank stocks right before the bail outs. Now that's interesting because most were shorting those to the point naked shorts were temporarily banned.
Which leads to this question, why are we, one and a half years later, still getting watered down bills presented as reform with Senator Dodd so bad, at this point I personally will not bother to read the legislative text. It's like the same song, different verse, as if time somehow will make the public believe this isn't a shell game instead of real reform?
Mike Konczal takes a different analysis point and asks What would Goldman Lobbyists Hate About the Financial Reform Bill?
I want to approach it from a different angle: What would an investment bank hate about this bill, and lobby hard to change? I actually read this bill as if I was a Goldman Sachs lobbyist, looking for all the sections that I hated and made a list of what items I needed to lobby hard on to kill or modify.
My final verdict, by the time I got to the end? If I was a Goldman lobbyist, I’d probably shrug and go “eh, pass it.”
He then puts up a challenge (calling all bloggers!) to find something Goldman Sachs would hate. Trust me, lobbyists will fight anything, anything, no matter how ineffective, how trivial and how little it matters, will millions of dollars. Case in point is Say on Pay.
Can I find anything meaningful in this bill? Well, one thing is a real time data collection mandate, for the Federal Reserve. This kind of modernization of raw data collection by our government should be done across the board, especially in labor force statistics. Problem is, implementation is in the details and I notice there is a clause which denied public viewing of this data.
That said, the thing which disgusts me the most, when we know the #1 cause of the financial crisis was derivatives, is how there isn't any meaningful derivatives reform and that includes the House bill too. There are loopholes and exemptions galore. It's so bad, it should be called the swiss cheese clause. There are even plans by
Corporate representatives Senators Gregg Judd and Jack Reed to add end user exemptions, masked as legitimate commodities hedging by businesses, which of course will be used by the Zombie banks since they control the derivatives market.
Of any focus in the media, especially the regular people, is on the CFPA, but the real meat, in desperate need of strong reform, are derivatives. Completely unregulated, CDSes, CDOs built on fictional mathematics, credit ratings agencies slapping on bought and paid for AAA's, as fictional stamps of approval, on such lovely financial innovations, such as a . These are the things that need to be banned, regulated, 100% and in the public sphere. We have a $600 trillion dollar, completely unregulated gambling casino, now even putting sovereign nations at risk. We know it's hard to wrap your head around these things, but that's what blogs are for. Realize the number one place for theft by these glorified white collar criminals is always buried in some bizarre convoluted spreadsheet, crafty formula con muchas las matemáticas, and obscure rules somewhere. Banksters do that, so you won't figure it out!
Again, Dylan Ratigan, who I am obviously becoming a fan of, overviewed the bill fairly nicely and check out the section on how the Zombie banks are also 97% of the derivatives players.
There is pretty much only one thing Senator Dodd is correct on, this legislation will not stop the next crisis from coming. Uh, nope your bill sure won't.