• Democrats Somehow Manage to Pull Off Financial Reform(ish) Legislation

    Big news! Financial reform has somehow passed the Senate despite the fact that the Democrats' lack of a super-ultra-quantum-majority…

    The vote was 60 to 38, with just three centrist Republicans from the Northeast joining with the Democrats in voting to advance the legislation. One Democrat, Senator Russ Feingold of Wisconsin, voted against the bill, saying it was still not tough enough. Senator Michael D. Crapo, Republican of Idaho, did not vote, and one seat — which was held by Senator Robert C. Byrd, who died last month — is vacant…

    The bill would create a council of high-level federal officials, led by the Treasury secretary, to try to detect, and perhaps prevent, systemic dangers to the financial system, and it would give the government new authority to seize and shut down failing financial institutions, by liquidating assets and forcing shareholders and creditors to take losses.

    Sounds promising, I think, based upon the minutes and minutes I've spent kind of thinking about it. But will it work?

    "We won’t know the full results of what we have done until the very institutions we have created, the regulations we have suggested and provided for are actually tested," [Sen. Chris Dodd, banking committee chair and main author of the bill] said in a floor speech. "We can’t legislate wisdom or passion. We can't legislate competency. All we can do is create the structures and hope that good people will be appointed who will attract other good people — people who will make careers and listen and see to it that never again do we go through what we have gone through."

    So, won't know if this bill is even worth anything until after we get hit with another huge financial crisis that threatens the very fabric of our national cohesion? I'm simply on pins and needles waiting to find out!

    Tags: Banks, Chris Dodd, Economy, Financial Reform, Robert Byrd, Russ Feingold, Senate, Wall Street


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