As details of the Senate banking committee’s financial reform bill keep dripping out, it’s becoming clear that the central focus — and supposedly the source the holdup — is the creation of a consumer financial protection agency.
But all that means, as I said this morning on Fox Business, is that the things that really matter aren’t even on the Senate’s radar, and if that’s what this bill’s centerpiece really is, then this isn’t a financial reform bill at all.
Where’s the part about regulating derivatives? Where’ the part about splitting investment houses and prop desks from government-supported, deposit-taking commercial banks? Where’s the part about capital ratios? What about the ratings agencies? At this point, we must hope those elements are in the bill, but it seems, well, a bit fishy that nothing so far has been disclosed about their existence.
I keep hearing Denzel Washington in “Malcolm X” (and of course, I’m Malcolm said it first): you been had, you been took, you been hoodwinked, bamboozled.
Two years into the worst financial meltdown in our lifetimes, the best the Senate can come up with is an agency that’s going to scan mortgage offers to make sure they’re not overcharging borrowers. It’s like the meltdown of ’08 never happened. The bankers must be sitting back somewhere just laughing that they’re getting everything they wanted, Gary Hager, president of Integrated Wealth Management, with whom I was on Fox this morning, said. And he’s right, because what the banks want out of this bill is nothing.