Senate Moves to Vote on Financial Reform

Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Senate overcame the filibuster today voting 60-40 to end debate and clear the way for the final vote on passage of the financial reform bill. Republican Senator Brown of Massachusetts flipped on his vote providing the last needed vote to reach 60. The vote is expected to happen by the end of the week after each Senator has had their hour to speak on the bill. Below are the major provisions in the bill. Still up for debate is an amendment for the so-called Volcker Rule which would prohibit banks from proprietary trading (Click here for the full summary.)
  • Consumer Protections with Authority and Independence: Creates a new independent watchdog, housed at the Federal Reserve, with the authority to ensure American consumers get the clear, accurate information they need to shop for mortgages, credit cards, and other financial products, and protect them from hidden fees, abusive terms, and deceptive practices.
  • Ends Too Big to Fail Bailouts: Ends the possibility that taxpayers will be asked to write a check to bail out financial firms that threaten the economy by: creating a safe way to liquidate failed financial firms; imposing tough new capital and leverage requirements that make it undesirable to get too big; updating the Fed’s authority to allow system-wide support but no longer prop up individual firms; and establishing rigorous standards and supervision to protect the economy and American consumers, investors and businesses.
  • Advance Warning System: Creates a council to identify and address systemic risks posed by large, complex companies, products, and activities before they threaten the stability of the economy.
  • Transparency & Accountability for Exotic Instruments: Eliminates loopholes that allow risky and abusive practices to go on unnoticed and unregulated - including loopholes for over-the-counter derivatives, asset-backed securities, hedge funds, mortgage brokers and payday lenders.
  • Federal Bank Supervision: Streamlines bank supervision to create clarity and accountability. Protects the dual banking system that supports community banks.
  • Executive Compensation and Corporate Governance: Provides shareholders with a say on pay and corporate affairs with a non-binding vote on executive compensation.
  • Protects Investors: Provides tough new rules for transparency and accountability for credit rating agencies to protect investors and businesses.
  • Enforces Regulations on the Books: Strengthens oversight and empowers regulators to aggressively pursue financial fraud, conflicts of interest and manipulation of the system that benefit special interests at the expense of American families and businesses.
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