Posts Tagged ‘financial reform legislation’

Geithner Gains New Powers With Financial Regulation Overhaul

Monday, August 9th, 2010

Treasury Secretary Geithner gains power with new financial overhaul law. With the passage of historic financial reform legislation, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner is being given the authority to reshape bank regulations, oversee financial markets and create a consumer protection agency.  Few Treasury secretaries will wield this much influence once President Obama signs the new financial overhaul legislation passed by Congress.

Geithner’s fingerprints are all over the effort to expand financial regulation.  The bill is extremely close to the initial draft he released last summer but also names him — as long as he remains Treasury secretary — as the head of a council of senior regulators.  The legislation also puts him at the head of the new consumer bureau until the Senate confirms a permanent director.  In other words, Geithner will mold the regulator over the next several months.  It also will be his responsibility to work out several issues left unresolved by the bill — for instance, which financial derivatives will be subject to the strict new trading rules and which risky activities big banks will have to spin off.

The legislation “will help restore the great strength of the American financial system, which — at its best — develops innovative ways to provide credit and capital, not just for our great global companies, but for the individual with an idea and a plan,” according to Geithner.  Efforts to win passage of the financial regulatory bill were driven primarily by the Treasury, proof that Geithner has significant autonomy within the administration.

Sen. Christopher J. Dodd (D-CT), who moved the financial overhaul package through the Senate, said it wasn’t his preference to put the Treasury secretary in charge of the new council.  He would prefer that a member of the Federal Reserve board fill that role.  At the same time, he said, having a member of the president’s Cabinet in charge could make the council “more politically responsive.  It gives you some accountability,” Dodd said.

Geithner Gains New Powers With Financial Regulation Overhaul

Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010

Treasury Secretary Geithner gains power with new financial overhaul law.  With the passage of historic financial reform legislation, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner is being given the authority to reshape bank regulations, oversee financial markets and create a consumer protection agency.  Few Treasury secretaries will wield this much influence once President Obama signs the new financial overhaul legislation passed by Congress.

Geithner’s fingerprints are all over the effort to expand financial regulation.  The bill is extremely close to the initial draft he released last summer but also names him — as long as he remains Treasury secretary — as the head of a council of senior regulators.  The legislation also puts him at the head of the new consumer bureau until the Senate confirms a permanent director.  In other words, Geithner will mold the regulator over the next several months.  It also will be his responsibility to work out several issues left unresolved by the bill — for instance, which financial derivatives will be subject to the strict new trading rules and which risky activities big banks will have to spin off.

The legislation “will help restore the great strength of the American financial system, which — at its best — develops innovative ways to provide credit and capital, not just for our great global companies, but for the individual with an idea and a plan,” according to Geithner.  Efforts to win passage of the financial regulatory bill were driven primarily by the Treasury, proof that Geithner has significant autonomy within the administration.

Sen. Christopher J. Dodd (D-CT), who moved the financial overhaul package through the Senate, said it wasn’t his preference to put the Treasury secretary in charge of the new council.  He would prefer that a member of the Federal Reserve board fill that role.  At the same time, he said, having a member of the president’s Cabinet in charge could make the council “more politically responsive.  It gives you some accountability,” Dodd said.

Senate, House Versions of Financial Reform Bill Headed to Reconciliation

Monday, June 7th, 2010

Senate passes financial reform legislation; the bill now must be reconciled with the House version.  Senator Christopher Dodd (D-CT) is enjoying a big victory in his last days in the Senate following passage of broad financial reform legislation designed to rein in the excesses that caused the financial meltdown.  First, the Senate and House versions of the bill must undergo reconciliation.  Under the new law, for example, homebuyers will have to provide proof of income when applying for a mortgage.  Additionally, a new consumer protection apparatus will monitor lenders who offer subprime loans and then raise interest rates to sky-high levels.

The legislation – which will bring openness to complex financial instruments such as derivatives – passed 59 – 31 and provides a way to liquidate financial institutions once viewed as too big to fail.  It also establishes a council of regulators who will monitor threats to the economy and specific restraints on the derivatives trading, which set off the toxic debts that froze the credit markets and prompted the Federal Reserve to make trillions of dollars of loans to banks on the brink of collapse.

The vote hands President Obama his second landmark legislative victory this year, following the March passage of his historic health-care bill. “Our goal is not to punish the banks,” he said hours before the final vote, “but to protect the larger economy and the American people from the kind of upheavals that we’ve seen in the past few years.”

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) summed up the legislation: “When this bill becomes law, the joyride on Wall Street will come to a screeching halt.”  The reconciled bill is expected to hit President Obama’s desk for his promised signature this summer.