Financial reform continues to make its way through the legislative sausage maker as conferees desperately seek to meet the administration’s July 4th deadline. As noted in earlier postings, the body created by Congress to investigate the causes of the crisis as a means of informing the legislative process continues to hold hearings in hopes of reporting to Congress in December…some five months from now. If one believed that major regulatory change should be informed by reasoned analysis, this disjunction might prove to be a source of concern.
- The conference committee was reconvened to kill the $20 billion tax on big banks, tapping TARP instead. Passage remains in doubt.
- A WaPo editorial decries a little noticed provision in the financial reform legislation: “the permanent increase in the size of bank accounts eligible for federal deposit insurance from $100,000 to $250,000–retroactive to Jan. 1, 2008. It’s a bailout for a relative handful of well-off customers that may also increase risks in the U.S. banking system.” In some 2,000 pages, one can only wonder how many more surprises are awaiting discovery (assuming anyone bothers to read the 2,000 pages).
- David Weidner (Market Watch) provides useful discussion of 10 missteps of financial reform (the list could be extended, as he well admits).
- The Left is getting restless and may not prove willing to support the legislation in its current form, as Miles Mogulescu suggests at the Huffington Post.