Restoring American Financial Stability Act of 2010 (H.R. 4173) is now law (almost). The Senate passed the conference committee report to the financial services reform bill today by a vote of 60-39. The House passed it 237-192 on June 30. Now it goes to the White House for President Obama's signature.
The 2,300 page financial services reform bill begins a major, needed change for Wall Street, banks and other institutions. The legislation creates a council of regulators to monitor economic risks, establishes a new agency to police consumers' financial products and sets new standards for the way derivatives are traded. Of course, the bill did nothing to reform Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The bill gives discretion to regulators, including the Federal Reserve and SEC, to apply the bill's mandates. Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd (D., Conn.), was a chief architect of the bill, along with Barney Frank, Chairman of the House Committee On Financial Services.
There will be new rules on golden parachutes for employees at public companies, policies for ATM cards, the abolishment of the Office of Thrift Supervision, new derivatives rules and hedge-fund registration. (WSJ, 7/15/2010)