Too little. Too late
by Anthony Cherniawski
May 21, 2010
The U.S. Senate, bringing Congress to the brink of passing the most comprehensive regulation of the financial industry since the Great Depression, approved a bill that imposes restrictions on proprietary trading by banks and creates a consumer protection agency designed to prevent lending abuses that triggered the housing collapse and the worst unemployment in almost three decades.
The legislation, approved by a 59-39 vote yesterday and requiring reconciliation with a bill passed by the House of Representatives in December, provides a mechanism for liquidating financial institutions, until recently considered too big to fail, a council of regulators monitoring threats to the economy and specific restraints on the trading of so-called derivatives, which spawned the toxic debts that seized up the credit markets in 2007 and 2008 and prompted the Federal Reserve to make trillions of dollars of loans to banks on the brink of insolvency.
This is the first time that our legislators are publicly admitting that our major banks are insolvent and on life support.