The Week: Most Recent U.S. Economy:Financial Reform Fight recent posts.en-usMon, 28 Mar 2011 14:52:00 -0400http://theweek.com Recent U.S. Economy:Financial Reform Fight from THE WEEKMon, 28 Mar 2011 14:52:00 -0400The debit card fight: 5 things you need to know<img src="" /></P><p>Get ready for some changes to your debit card account. As a result of last year's financial reform law, large banks will be slapped with a fee limit on debit card transactions. Beginning in July, banks such as Chase, Wells Fargo, and Bank of America will be prohibited from charging retailers more than 12 cents each time a customer swipes their debit card, down from a current average of 44 cents. Banks stand to lose billions of dollars from the rule change, and are lobbying furiously for it to be scrapped. But debit card holders may well be affected, too. Here, five ways the fight could affect you...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffMon, 28 Mar 2011 14:52:00 -0400Do we really need Wall Street?<img src="" /></P><p>"Since the promulgation of Hammurabi's Code, in ancient Babylon, no advanced society has survived without banks and bankers," says John Cassidy in <em>The New Yorker</em>. But even post-bailout, Wall Street no longer seems to play much of the banks' traditional role in creating value. Worse still, its sky-high &mdash; probably too-high &mdash; salaries attract the "bright young people who used to want to start up their own companies," or create the next "iPhones, Home Depot, and Lipitor." So how can Wall Street justify its existence? Here's an excerpt:&nbsp;</p><p ><strong>Lord Adair Turner, the chairman of Britain's...</strong></p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffTue, 23 Nov 2010 10:20:00 -0500Elizabeth Warren: Too 'controversial' for Washington?<img src="" /></P><p>Progressives are pushing President Obama hard to nominate Elizabeth Warren to head up the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau created under the financial overhaul law. Warren, a Harvard law professor, is a leading expert on consumer debt and Congress' chief bank-bailout watchdog, and the CFPB was originally her idea. But some Senate Democrats are balking, warning that she would be hard to confirm. Why? And are their fears justified? (Watch Warren discuss the failures of the bank rescue)</p><p><strong>Dems have dumbed-down "controversial":</strong> Democrats like Chris Dodd (CT) are essentially arguing that Warren...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffWed, 21 Jul 2010 11:40:00 -0400Obama's financial reform: Winners and losers<img src="" /></P><p>It's taken many weeks of setbacks and stalled negotiations, but the Democrats' long-promised financial reform bill has finally been approved by the Senate and will be signed into law on Wednesday. The Dodd-Frank Act promises to put new controls on the banking industry and protect consumers. Amongst its initiatives are a Consumer Protection Financial Bureau that would oversee lenders of private loans such as mortgages and credit cards and a clampdown on derivatives trading by Wall Street banks. But who is likely to benefit from Dodd-Frank, and who will be hit by its passage? (Watch Obama announce...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffMon, 19 Jul 2010 12:55:00 -0400Scott Brown: Tea Party traitor or shrewd powerbroker?<img src="" /></P><p>Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) now says he "expect[s] to support" the Democrats' financial reform bill, after single-handedly winning bank-friendly changes in the legislation. With his support, Democratic leaders will almost certainly have enough votes to beat back a filibuster and pass the landmark legislation. But this support for Obama's agenda isn't sitting well with the Tea Party activists and other conservatives who championed Brown's candidacy in January. Is Brown selling out his base? (Watch a Bloomberg report about Scott Brown's switch)</p><p><strong>Brown is proving to be a "masterful" powerbroker:</strong> Brown...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffTue, 13 Jul 2010 11:17:00 -0400Obama vs. Boehner<img src="" /></P><p>President Obama dueled with House Minority Leader John Boehner this week over who's really looking out for ordinary Americans. It started when Boehner (R-OH) told a newspaper that the pending financial reform legislation being pushed by Democrats is the equivalent of "killing an ant with a nuclear weapon." Obama shot back, saying that "if the Republican leader is that out of touch with the struggles facing the American people" he should spend more time in the heartland. Boehner then chided Obama for playing "childish" partisan games, and said Democrats are "the ones who are out of touch." Was there...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffThu, 01 Jul 2010 10:55:00 -0400Scott Brown's finance bill power play<img src="" /></P><p>House and Senate negotiators thought they'd cleared a final version of the sweeping financial overhaul bill... until Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) said he wouldn't support it unless a new $19 billion tax on large banks and hedge funds was removed. Conferees met again Tuesday, <em>The Boston Globe</em> reports, and "agreed on a new way to pay for the additional regulatory oversight in the sweeping legislation, which is intended to help prevent another economic crisis" &mdash; replacing the tax with $11 billion in unused bank bailout funds and a small hike in FDIC bank fees. Why is Brown wielding his swing...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffWed, 30 Jun 2010 12:45:00 -0400Will the finance bill tame Wall Street?<img src="" /></P><p>The Senate approved sweeping financial reform legislation Thursday night, putting Democrats on the cusp of a second major legislative victory. (See <em>The Washington Post</em>'s summary box for bill highlights) The Senate bill still has to be merged with the broadly similar House version, passed in December. But when the final bill is signed into law by the president, as expected, will it actually work to rein in the Wall Street excesses that fed the current financial crisis? (Watch Rep. Alan Grayson push for a complete Wall Street overhaul)</p><p><strong>The bill is better than expected:</strong> Amazingly, the Senate bill...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffFri, 21 May 2010 10:28:00 -0400Why audit the Fed?<img src="" /></P><p>In response to growing public suspicions that the Federal Reserve played fast and loose in handing out secret bailout loans during the financial crisis, Congress is on the verge of ordering an historically unprecedented audit of the nation's central bank. The White House and Fed chairman Ben Bernanke both oppose the plan, but proponents of the audit point out that the Fed distributed an astounding $2 trillion in bailout loans and taxpayers deserve to know where the money went. (Watch an MSNBC report about the decision to audit the Fed)</p><p><strong>Why an audit?</strong><br />The Federal Reserve &mdash; an independent body...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffThu, 13 May 2010 12:10:00 -0400Why the GOP blocked financial reform<img src="" /></P><p>The Senate's first vote on reform of the banking and finance industry failed on Monday evening, with Republicans voting unanimously to block the bill. But almost two-thirds (65 percent) of Americans support stricter federal regulations on banks and financial institutions, according to an ABC News/<em>Washington Post</em> poll. And a majority (53 percent) even supports the creation of a bail-out fund for banks, which is the Republicans' main beef with the current version of the bill. Is the GOP on solid ground in opposing the bill? (Watch an AP report about the GOP filibuster)</p><p><strong></strong><strong>The GOP is just sending a...</strong></p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffTue, 27 Apr 2010 11:15:00 -0400Financial reform's endgame: 3 theories<img src="" /></P><p>The Democrats' long battle to pass financial reform is coming to a head Monday, with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) planning a test vote as early as this evening. The Democratic bill would introduce tough new rules to protect consumers, regulate derivative markets, and beef up bank capital requirements. But Republicans say it is too expensive, and could limit Wall Street's profitability &mdash; they are demanding concessions under threat of filibuster. What will happen next? (Watch <em>The Week</em>'s Sunday Talk Show Briefing on the Senate's hopes for financial regulation.) Here are three theories...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffMon, 26 Apr 2010 11:58:00 -0400Wall Street: Debating 'too big to fail'</P><div ><div ><iframe rel="" src="" width="420" height="451" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" allowtransparency="true"></iframe></div></div> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffMon, 26 Apr 2010 09:46:00 -0400Was Obama too soft on Wall Street?</P><p>The president travelled to America's financial center on Thursday to deliver what was expected to be a hard-hitting speech shaming Wall Street for its excesses. Even the venue &mdash; the Cooper Union Hall in which Abraham Lincoln made his famous 1860 speech on slavery &mdash; suggested tub-thumping rhetoric. But in the presence of CEOs from Goldman Sachs, Barclays and Credit Suisse, Obama struck a more conciliatory note than some expected. "There is no dividing line between Main Street and Wall Street. We rise or we fall together as one nation," he said. Was he too soft on Wall Street's fat cats...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffFri, 23 Apr 2010 11:59:00 -0400Wall Street reform: A change of heart from the GOP?<img src="" /></P><p>As President Obama reprimands Wall Street bankers and makes his final case for financial reform, GOP leaders in the Senate are softening their criticism of the proposed regulations. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who just days ago warned that the reform package would lead to more taxpayer "bailouts," now says he's hopeful a bipartisan deal can be struck within days. Why the change of heart? (Watch a CBS report about the Republicans' reversal)<br /><br /><strong>Obama scared sense into the GOP:</strong> The White House is playing hardball to save financial reform, says John Dickerson in <em>Slate</em>, and it's working. Obama...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffFri, 23 Apr 2010 11:15:00 -0400Financial reform: 5 things you need to know<img src="" /></P><p>The Senate is poised for a showdown over a broad financial reform bill that would ramp up regulation of banks and investment firms, clamp down on speculative trading of financial derivatives, and increase consumer protections, among other changes. The basics about this complex piece of legislation:</p><p><strong>1. Where we stand today</strong> <br />The House passed its version of financial reform in December, 223-202, with no GOP votes. The Senate will start debating its version soon, probably next week, depending on how renewed bipartisan negotiations progress. The Senate Finance Committee cleared the bill along party...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffWed, 21 Apr 2010 18:55:00 -0400Will campaign cash influence financial reform?<img src="" /></P><p>As the Senate opens a debate on financial reform, let&rsquo;s consider these fun facts:<br />&nbsp;<br />&middot;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; In 2008, Wachovia bank&rsquo;s main political action committee gave 62 percent of its money to Republican candidates; CEO Robert Steel donated $100,000 to candidates over the 2004, 2006, and 2008 cycles, 95 percent of which went to Republicans. <br /><br />&middot;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Meanwhile, the Center for Responsive Politics, which tabulates such things, estimates that Democrats have collected more than 70 percent of the money donated by hedge fund PACs and executives since 2001. <br /><br />I don...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/david-frum" ><span class="byline">David Frum</span></a>Wed, 11 Nov 2009 04:06:00 -0500