All across America, people are cheering the passage of the most comprehensive overhaul of our financial system since the Great Depression. Newspapers are chiming in as well. Here are some highlights:
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Editorial: Wall Street reform: Congress makes the proper response to crisis, July 19: “The nation's gravest financial crisis since the Depression demanded a government response that was just as wide-ranging. The financial overhaul bill proposed by the Obama administration and finally approved by the Senate on Thursday provided such a response. Advocates argue credibly that the bill would reform Wall Street, protect consumers and make another crisis less likely. Rather than enshrine future taxpayer bailouts of faltering banks, as its critics charge it would do, the measure would discourage such bailouts, since banks would have to hold larger reserves to guard against losses.”
Philadelphia Inquirer Editorial: 'Kumbaya' it wasn't, July 19: “No GOP senator from a state south of the Massachusetts Turnpike voted for the bill, which calls for the most significant overhaul of financial rules since the Great Depression. This legislation is Washington's needed response to Wall Street's reckless habits, which helped to cause the financial meltdown of 2008. … Big banks will be required to set aside more capital to protect against bad loans. Trading of complex derivatives will be forced onto more transparent exchanges. Shareholders of public companies will be given a nonbinding vote on executive pay packages.”
Roanoke Times Editorial: Wall Street reform passes, July 19: “…the legislation creates mechanisms in the Treasury Department to monitor the financial sector for systemic threats and to dismantle "too-big-to-fail" firms in an orderly and less disruptive manner, and without taxpayer dollars. These are all good measures that will strengthen oversight of the financial system and give regulators more ability to deal with a crisis before it becomes acute…Oddly, the vast majority of Republicans opposed this -- and are already threatening to repeal the law if they regain control of Congress in November… Why would the GOP oppose something that is so clearly necessary? Money and politics.”
Las Vegas Sun Editorial: The Do-Nothing Party, July 18: “On Thursday, after the Senate passed the bill, Republican leaders tried to scare the public by claiming that the bill will hurt the economy... Republican opposition to this legislation is stupefying. The legislation is intended to correct the problems and help the average American. For example, the legislation includes new consumer protections and cracks down on risky investment deals. It also ends the need for bailouts by giving regulators ways to deal with the “too big to fail” financial firms. Still, Boehner is advocating going back to the way things were, and that is unacceptable. Do Republicans not understand the pain that Americans are in and Wall Street’s role? Or are they merely trying to protect their patrons on Wall Street?”
Seattle Times Editorial: Bill to regulate financial industry not perfect, but better than status quo, July 16: “The big financial companies do not want this bill. The Republicans who call this a "bailout bill" are protecting those big companies. “Bailout” is not an accurate word for what this bill allows… The law allows federal regulators to swoop in and take over big financial companies that are not banks, such as AIG, much the same way the FDIC took over Washington Mutual. Ask the WaMu shareholders whether they were “bailed out.”
It's historic. It will help people. But, there's still more work to be done.