The House passed financial reform bill, crafted by none other than Barney Frank (D-MA) contained a permanent bailout fund for banks and Wall Street firms and created a new agency of government that would be allowed to regulate any and all business in America. It received no Republican votes and close to two dozen democrats opposed the legislation. But, it is alive today thanks to Bob Corker.
The ironically named Consumer Financial Protection Agency will pile a new bureaucracy on top of an existing bureaucracy. It will spend hundreds of millions of dollars imposing job killing regulations on small business. It will have the power to strip consumers of their freedoms and restrict credit opportunities for small business. And, there’s more. Also tucked in the bill is a clause that gives the Federal Reserve the authority to bailout businesses to the tune of an astonishing $4 trillion.
The bill seemed to be dead until Corker decided to grab favorable headlines from the New York Times. According to news reports, Corker’s solution to the problem is to move the new regulatory agency to the Federal Reserve as opposed to leaving it a stand alone agency. Corker is misleading his colleagues and the public by telling them that this will some how save money.
Let’s be clear, the bill contains bailouts for big banks and Wall Street firms and new red tape nightmares for main street businesses. What difference does the location of this new uber-regulatory bureaucracy make? The only thing this bill will save is jobs, paychecks, yachts and third vacation homes for Wall Street bankers and irresponsible CEOs.Give me four normal red-blooded Americans from the Midwest and Paul Volcker and we'll reform "financial regulation."
And we'll break a few eggshells and zombies (think Citi), but we'll have a damn good omelette in the end.
MORE here from Ritholtz.