Wall Street and Republican lawmakers thwart US financial reforms
It’s almost a year since Barack Obama signed the “strongest consumer financial protections in history.” Thanks to the Dodd-Frank bill, drawn up in the aftermath of the worst financial crisis in living memory, America “would never again be asked to foot the bill for Wall Street’s mistakes,” the US president declared, back in July 2010.
A year later Dodd-Frank is looking less historic. Of the 380 rules that were supposed to have been written for the bill by the end of next month, only 30 have been finalised. And the biggest most contentious areas, including the regulation of derivatives and what makes an entity “too big to fail,” remain in flux. Regulatory experts don’t expect any resolution before mid-2012 and many expect a watered down bill to be further diluted by furious lobbying from an increasingly confident Wall Street.
Even Wall Street friendly Treasury secretary Timothy Geithner is concerned. He told a Washington committee last week that US financial institutions were spending “a huge amount of money to erode, weaken, walk back” Dodd-Frank. Geithner asked Congress not to weaken or delay the new rules. Gary Gensler, the chairman of the commodity futures trading commission, has warned that delays in implementing Dodd-Frank “increase risk to the American people and leave significant uncertainty in the marketplace.”
Why anyone except the super-rich would vote for a Republican is beyond me. Talk about not giving a shit about your own well being.