Three Different Takes on Passage of the Financial Regulation Bill

The Senate voted 59-39 Thursday evening to pass H.R. 4173, Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, which has legislatively supplanted S. 3217, Restoring American Financial Stability Act. (Because the House bill title is more achievable, the Senate title an overreach?)

The BBC this morning highlighted three representative quotes on the legislation.

President Obama: “Over the last year, the financial industry has repeatedly tried to end this reform with hordes of lobbyists and millions of dollars in ads, and when they couldn’t kill it they tried to water it down. Today, I think it’s fair to say these efforts have failed.”

Sen. Richard Shelby
(R-AL), ranking member of the Senate Banking Committee: “Judgment will not be rendered by self-congratulatory press releases, but, rather, by the marketplace. And the marketplace does not give credit for good intentions.”

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV): “We’re bringing accountability to Wall Street because we are accountable to the American people. The Bill we passed … has a message for both. To Wall Street, it says: no longer can you recklessly gamble away other people’s money. It says the days of ‘too big to fail’ are behind us. It says to those who game the system: the game is over.”

The White House blog promoted the President’s statement with the headline, “A Big Win Over the Lobbyists on Wall Street Reform.”

Two questions:

How do America’s leaders restore confidence in the U.S. financial system by attacking the motives and actions of the people who embody that system?

Were the disagreements over the legislation really just representative of bad faith, greed and self-interest?

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