Dodd’s Bank Bill: New Nationalization Powers for Fed, FDIC, and Treasury Secretary
By John Berlau
There are many bad things contained in Chris Dodd’s “Restoring American Financial Stability Act,” the financial regulatory “reform” bill that after filibustering for three days — with the assistance of Nebraska Democrat Ben Nelson — Republicans agreed to let come to the floor for amendment and debate. On Monday night, after just two weeks, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid filed for another vote to end debate to occur later today. It remains to be seen whether the 41 Republicans will hold together this time to block the bill with a filibuster.
Among its horrors are a massive new consumer agency with the power to track virtually every financial transaction to share with other big agencies like the IRS, onerous new restrictions on angel investors and venture capital that greatly delay funding promising startup firms, proxy access provisions that would federalize state incorporation laws and empower unions and other progressive shareholders to wage director campaigns at the company and other shareholders’ expense, and no attempted reform of the government-sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac at the center of the financial mess.
And last week, the Senate gutted one of the very few virtues of the similar House financial regulation bill that passed in December — the requirement that the Federal Reserve Board be subject to the same comprehensive audit from the Government Accountability Office that virtually every other agency of the federal government is. But this was voted down after a very limited “compromise” was introduced for a one-time lifting of a narrow part of the Fed’s veil to show some of the entities it has bailed out in recent years.