Mar 252010
Christopher Dodd, U.S. Senator.
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“Once you understand that the resolution authority is an illusion, you begin to understand that the Dodd legislation would achieve nothing on the systemic risk and too big to fail front.”
Simon Johnson, MIT Professor, co-author of 13 Bankers

People need to take notice of what’s going on here. Senator Dodd’s bill absolutely needs to be sunshined and debated. This is not sound financial system reform and regulation, and all Americans need to be concerned. I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t understand all the aspects of cross-border financial institutions, but I do appreciate some regulation issues, especially where the detection component of resolution authority is involved. It just opens up an additional layer of confusion with tracking derivatives and off balance sheet transactions. Wasn’t that a big part of what was behind Lehman and Repo105?

Financial reform must definitely be high on our list of priorities, but we need to do it right. Our nation can ill afford another round like the recent meltdown. The government itself is unlikely to have the resources to put things back together next time.

I’m nowhere close to being an economist, but even I can see that Chris Dodd has put together a gift to the banking industry. Relying on resolution authority is one thing, but putting the CFPA inside the Fed and allowing the FSOC to veto its decisions . . . it’s like putting the hen in the fox house! And then leaving everything to the discretion of an agency that can be overruled, rather than setting the guidelines it will enforce into law — it’s slight of hand, and Dodd, the conman, will be gone before we find out we were ripped off.

The bill needs to have measures in place that will force the Fed’s hand, otherwise what are the chances they’ll have the nerve to test the system and pull the trigger? Real reform will have hard caps on size and leverage ratios, derivative reform, and definitive remediation requirements. It will also have a fully independent CFPA that’s not subject to FSOC control, and does have control over non-bank entities, like auto dealers.  As is, this will be a mess, but I’m still hopeful that real reformers like Ted Kaufman will stop Dodd from launching his lobbyist career on this watered down smoke-screen excuse for financial reform.

Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

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