StanCollender'sCapitalGainsandGames Washington, Wall Street and Everything in Between


Posted by Edmund L. Andrews

    Senate Banking chairman Chris Dodd is circulating his new compromise plan for a consumer financial regulator.  The New York Times and Wall Street Journal both summarized the proposal last night, but here is a copy of Dodd's still-rough outline.  

      As compromises go, it could be worse.   It drops the idea of a stand-alone agency that would be devoted entirely to consumer financial regulation, a cornerstone of the White House financial overhaul and of the House-passed bill.  Instead, it would create a "Bureau of Financial Protection" within the Treasury.  Its director would be selected by the President, rather than the Treasury secretary, and it would have its own budget.

Posted by Pete Davis

You didn’t have to watch CNBC or Bloomberg TV very long after President Obama’s remarks late this morning to experience Wall Street’s consternation. The Dow finished down 2.01%, and the S&P finished down 1.90%, as major banks got pounded. When I talk to my clients, they understand Main Street’s anger at suffering prolonged unemployment and recession while the banks have already recovered enough to repay their TARP and pay out big bonuses. What they don’t understand is how President Obama could ignore the negative economic consequences of his bank tax and bank restrictions and the fragility of this recovery that will depend so heavily on restoring bank lending. They’re also skeptical that these remedies would prevent future financial crises.   A lot will depend upon the details of how these policies would work.

Posted by Edmund L. Andrews

    The New York Times reports this morning that President Obama will announce a new push today for new limits on the size of banks and new prohibitions on their ability to conduct proprietary trading.

      The politics of this are obvious enough: after the Massachusetts disaster, which has dealt a major blow to the prospects for passing even a weak health care reform, Obama is reaching for something -- anything! -- to change the subject.   With the big bailed-out banks reporting hefty profits and ginormous bonuses this week, at the same time that they fight off regulation and a modest new tax, what better time than this to bash the banks.

      At this writing, we don't know any details about what Obama will propose.  They appear to echo ideas that Paul Volcker, the former Fed chairman, has been pushing in vain at least a year now.  

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