Early this morning — following an epic 20-hour arm-wrestling match between progressive legislators and legislators who were being paid by banks to oppose reform — some kind of agreement of some kind was reached by Congressional negotiators shaping the tumultuous Wall Street bill…
Wall Street won a number of battles, but broadly speaking the conference committee strengthened the legislation in some ways, weakened it in others, and for the most part the final bill pretty closely resembles the legislation that passed the Senate this spring.
Big banks won one big fight yesterday, which will allow banks to continue investing a significant amount of equity in hedge funds. But that was in the context of a greater battle over whether banks should be allowed to make speculative trades with their capital… and they lost that one.
The more dramatic tussle was over a provision, authored by Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-AR), meant to force big financial firms to spin off their derivative trading desks into separate affiliates that do not enjoy federal protections. The haggling over that provision dragged on past midnight. Wall Street largely lost, having pushed hard for months to get it scrapped entirely. However, big firms will retain the ability to trade derivatives in house for the purposes of hedging their own risk…
Now the legislation goes back to each chamber for a final vote. Bank-friendly House Dems will have to support the bill for it to pass. In the Senate it will likely be held to a 60-vote threshold. With two Democrats continuing to oppose the bill from the left, Dodd and Majority Leader Harry Reid will have to woo the same Republicans who supported the bill the first time around, with little to no margin for error.
Does that mean anything to anyone? Sounds kind of good and kind of bad, doesn't it? I definitely liked the part where it said, "force big financial firms to spin off their derivative trading desks into separate affiliates that do not enjoy federal protections," I think. That's a thing that I should think is a good thing to do, right?
But I think that I am very angry about the "big firms will retain the ability to trade derivatives in house for the purposes of hedging their own risk" part? All I know for certain is that I am maybe very conflicted.
Tags: Blanche Lincoln, Chris Dodd, Economy, Harry Reid, House of Representatives, Money, Senate, Wall Street
Arkansas Democrat Blanche Lincoln's re-election campaign is off to a roaring start with her first TV ad, in which she informs us that her colleagues in the Senate need a time out…
So is the solution to Washington's woes re-electing Blanche Lincoln?
Or is it cookies and a nap?
Tags: Arkansas, Blanche Lincoln, Democrats, Senate
On last night's Colbert Report, Stephen proposed a brilliant plan to cover the uninsured. Since Max Baucus killed the public option, simply send him your medical bills. And don't worry, the health care industry has given Baucus over three million dollars, so he should be able to cover it. I guess if we can't send him some balls and integrity, this is the next best thing.
The Colbert Report airs Monday through Thursday at 11:30pm / 10:30c.
Tags: Bill Nelson, Blanche Lincoln, Health Care, Kent Conrad, Max Baucus, Senate, Stephen Colbert, The Colbert Report, Tom Carper, Video
You know, I don't cover the battle for the public option in the public option debate all that often because, well, mostly it's pretty boring.
However, this article made me change my mind…
The debate over whether to create a public insurance plan to compete with private plans is about to explode in the Senate Finance Committee. The stakes are high and so is the suspense.
Whoa! It's about to EXPLODE?! That's crazy! And exciting! And stimulating! Maybe I had this health care thing pegged wrong.
And "The stakes are high and so is the suspense," wasn't that the tag line for that movie with Will Smith, Chow Yun Fat and Billy Joel? (Or did I dream that?)
Let's keep reading, because this is gonna be awesome! I just know it…
[T]here are nine Democrats in favor of or open to at least one of the three public options. Two favor Republican Sen. Olympia Snowe's proposal for state-level public options to be "triggered" if competition in a state falls short. Sen. Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas is a mystery. If she ultimately supports some type of public option, that would make committee chairman Max Baucus the deciding vote. He says he supports a public option but that it couldn't win on the floor.
That's pretty exciting, I guess. But what I'm really looking forward to is how they'll come to a final decision.
Tags: Blanche Lincoln, Health Care, Max Baucus, Olympia Snowe, Senate