As usual, Paul Krugman is spot on:
What’s good? Resolution authority, which was sorely lacking last year; consumer protection; derivatives traded through clearinghouses; ratings reform, thanks to Al Franken; tighter capital standards for big players, although with too much discretion to regulators.
What’s missing? Hard leverage limits; size caps; not much in the way of restoring Glass-Steagall. If you think that too big to fail is the core problem, it’s disappointing; if you think that shadow banking is the core, as I do, not too bad.
There's still work to be done, but, as Krugman wryly notes, thanks to Lloyd Blankfein, we've taken a major step forward:
I think Ed Andrews has it right: not all it should have been, but better than seemed likely not long ago, thanks to a changed climate. Wall Street in general, and Goldman in particular, provided scandals at just the right time. Thank you, Lloyd Blankfein.
Something strange is happening in Washington. As the Senate haggles over Wall Street Reform, it's getting stronger, not weaker. That's not how Washington usually works. Usually, a stronger bill is introduced and as the lobbyists and special interests poor millions into Capitol Hill, the legislators cave in. It's not happening this time.
Consumer advocates have scored some surprising victories in the overhaul of financial regulations that's gaining momentum in Congress, but amendments to be considered in the coming days will go a long way toward shaping the sweeping measure...
So far, Wall Street's formidable lobbying power has not weakened the bill, as some observers expected. The Senate, for instance, soundly defeated a move by Republicans to limit the powers of a proposed Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Meanwhile, lawmakers approved an amendment that would allow the Federal Reserve to cap debit card fees that big banks charge merchants.
"We're winning more than we're losing," says Ed Mierzwinski of U.S. Public Interest Research Group. He partly credits a recent Securities and Exchange Commission lawsuit that accuses Goldman Sachs of failing to disclose key information about an investment it sold in 2007.
It's not just conditions, it is your pressure. So, keep it up. Keep calling your Senators and demanding that they continue to stand up to the Wall Street lobbyists and produce a strong bill that helps working families.
The facts are in. Americans stand with Main Street, not Wall Street. We support tougher laws against the banksters who helped contribute to the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. CNN:
According to an ABC News/Washington Post survey released Monday morning, 65% of the public supports stricter federal regulations on the way banks and other financial institutions conduct their business, with 31% opposed.
A majority of people questioned in a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll conducted last month also favored greater government regulation of banks and other financial institutions.
Taking a look at some of the provisions in the legislation, the ABC News/Washington Post survey indicates that nearly six in ten back increasing federal oversight of the way banks and other financial companies issue credit cards and make consumer loans, such as mortgages and auto loans.
By a margin of 2:1, the American people support tough new laws to reign in the out of control excesses of the Wall Street banksters. It's clear that the public is with us. Now, it's time for Congress to act.
Mike Konczal over at the Roosevelt Institute put together a handy tip sheet. He explains:
I’ve created a quick two-page backgrounder here: Six Critical Elements of Financial Reform, laying out six pieces of financial reform that are still in play but could change by the hour. Each one of them is necessary to really doing this right, and if you are interested in making this bill better at the margins these are the things that will really make a difference.
These six reforms are critical. It's time to fight for them. Let your Senator know where you stand on these six reforms.