Senate Passes Financial Reform!
On Thursday, the Senate voted to overhaul our nation’s financial structure for the first time since the Great Depression. While there are still some fixes we hope to see come out of the Conference Committee between the House and Senate, the bill is a great step forward for consumers, investors, and taxpayers. See how your Senators voted here, and thank them or tell them you’re disappointed here.
Here’s are the bill’s key provisions, according to AFR:
- Real consumer protection: independent from the biggest banks that have put their profits ahead of us. Now credit cards and mortgages will offer terms in language we can all understand. It will also offer help for those abused by predatory lenders.
- Mortgage reforms: For the first time lenders are prohibited from making loans that borrowers cannot repay, and bans kickbacks for steering people into high rate loans when they qualify for lower rates.
- Ending the casino economy and bringing sunlight to shadowy derivatives market: The $600 trillion derivatives market will now have the light of day shining on the market (with exchange trading) and be held accountable with capital requirements (with clearing).
- Putting the brakes on risky speculation to prevent future crises and tax payer bailouts:Unregulated shadow banks like AIG will face strict oversight for the first time and our biggest, riskiest banks will have tougher leverage and capital requirements. When a financial firm does run into trouble, it will face a new liquidation regime so that we don’t need to bail it out or prop it up—it will be put out of business.
- Strong investor protections: Enhanced shareholder rights will allow for a say on pay of executives and give long-term shareholders a meaningful voice in holding corporate directors accountable. Additionally credit ratings agencies will not be just the handmaidens of the biggest financial institutions. Better controls at rating agencies hold them accountable for the reliability of their reporting.