Financial Reform

Yesterday the Senate passed what is being touted as “the most comprehensive regulation of the financial industry since the Great Depression.” Next up: Conference committee. It may not be long before there’s a bill President Obama can sign into law.

Republicans are still trying to get auto dealers excluded from the bill’s consumer protection provisions. I can’t think of any reason why Republicans would do this except that they’re being paid under the table to do it.

This morning the credit card industry is howling about an amendment introduced by Senator Durbin that was tacked onto the Senate bill at the last minute. I take it the amendment limits the fees Visa, Mastercard et al. charge merchants for debit card transactions, but so far most of the information I’m getting is from press releases being put out by Visa, Mastercard et al. So it’s a little murky. Another amendment introduced by Sen. Whitehouse of Rhode Island that would have allowed states to cap consumer credit card fees failed, however.

To me, the most interesting political story coming out of yesterday’s vote is that Scott Brown, the new Republican senator from Massachusetts, provided the 60th vote to cut off debate on the measure and also voted with the Dems to pass the bill. Already Brown has gone from being the fair-haired child to being persona non grata on the Right.

Last January some leftie bloggers analyzed Brown’s record as “liberal Republican,” meaning he’s progressive on some issues and conservative on others. Brown is “more liberal than Olympia Snowe,” said one.

Rightie bloggers hooted at this at the time. Today Little Lulu’s first commenter said, “Hmm, a Republican who’s even more liberal than Olympia Snowe or Susan Collins. Stranger species keep getting discovered.” Maybe the Rockefeller Republican isn’t extinct after all. But whatever Brown is, it appears he’s not stupid enough to think he can rack up a far-right record and win re-election in Massachusetts.

6 thoughts on “Financial Reform

  1. Regulations are not just put in place to protect consumers from companies that would exploit them . They are also there to protect companies from themselves.

    Regulations are like the part of the Constitution that seperates church from state. It there not just to protect the church from the state, or the state from the church, but to protect religions from one another. The Founding Fathers put that in there because they were only a few generations removed from one of the bloodiest wars up until that time – the intercine, murderous wars between religions in Europe. And those wars were not Christians vs. Jews, or Christians vs. Muslims, or Jews vs. Muslims, but Christians massacring Christians over doctrinaire differences.

    It should be obvious to almost everyone with half a brain (Teabaggers, Libertarians, and hard-core Conservatives are hereby excluded), that we have given banks, and Wall Street, and insurance companies, access to markets that were pretty much unregulated – except in name only. And the result has been an unmitigated disaster. DISASTER!!!
    Now we have to regulate them, not just to protect us from them, but to protect them from themselves. On Wall Street, they bonus themselves huge sums for short-term gains, when in the long run, the company and the country will be bankrupted by these efforts. We have allowed banks and credit card companies to charge usurious fees that have killed the goose that once kept laying golden eggs for generations – our dead middle class. That goose is cooked…
    Even animals usually know enough not to eat the entire kill in one sitting, lest it kill them. I remember a picture from Florida of a boa constrictor, or anaconda, that had swallowed an alligator much too large for it to digest and had exploded.
    The snake had gotten too greedy.
    Just like these snakes have.
    Share the dinner and dessert with your siblings, boys and girls, and nibble your food, don’t gulp…
    Or else Mommy and Daddy are going to have to do something about it.
    I say, let the beatings begin!
    What happened yesterday isn’t even a slap on the wrist. But at least we’re starting to lay some ground rules in this, our dysfuntional family/country.

  2. Little Lulu’s commenters are pretty typical republican’ts, their only real concern with the legislation is how it will affect their own investments today, who cares about the long term and the health of our macro economy. Typical selfish “whats in it for me” conservatives.

    Iggy nailed it in this song

  3. “…Stranger species keep getting discovered.”

    Except this commenter of Little Lulu’s appears to believe in evolution! Or at the very least, science. Strange indeed.

    Now we have to regulate them, not just to protect us from them, but to protect them from themselves.

    That right there is human nature; something that completely flummoxes your typical, asocial rightie-libertarian. Funny how so much time spent in Mom’s* basement, typing angry blog comments while waiting for Mom to fix lunch, leads to a dread of the “nanny state.”

    *Substitute “wife” as needed.

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  5. Debit card fees are much higher for merchants that credit cards, even though the banks don’t credit you any money and just almost instantaneously transfer the money out of your account into theirs… Their merchant agreements prohibit merchants from NOT accepting debit cards, while they sell the young [and others] on debit card use… What a racket!

  6. Unless thet put the Glass-Stegall law back in to effect, they didnt accomplish nothing.

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