Wall Street reform bill passes the Senate

Wall Street

Though this bill may not be perfect, not many tears are expected to be shed for Wall Street. Image from Wikimedia Commons.

The United States Senate has officially passed the Wall Street reform bill.  The Senate voted to quash debate and discussion earlier today, in order to move it to a vote.  It was expected to pass, as 50 of the required 51 votes were already pledged.  The final tally was a sweeping victory for the bill, passing 60 to 39.  The bill will now go to the President’s desk.  President Obama is expected to make the decision to sign or veto the bill by sometime next week.

Wall Street reform bill finally passes

Earlier today, the United States Senate voted to stop all discussion over the Wall Street reform bill and bring it to a vote.  The measure to kill debate, according to CNN Money, passed 60 to 38.  The final vote began minutes later.  The financial reform legislation has been floundering for over a year, as it was introduced in 2009.  The bill needed some key Senate Republicans to offer their support for it in exchange for alterations.  However, the bill still has staunch Republican opposition in both houses.

What the bill will do

The bill is largely aimed at Wall Street.  It prevents some complex trades, and certain bets on securities, derivatives,  and debt bundle packages.  The Wall Street reform bill also creates mandatory middle men, so firms are more insulated from each other.  The bill will also create an advisory board that will step in and decide what will happen to enormous firms on the edge of failure. The bill also creates a consumer financial protection agency, which will aim to shore up mortgage loans, credit cards, and other consumer lending such as payday loans.  The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau will be part of the Federal Reserve.

The critics have their say

According to the Wall Street Journal, the economists they surveyed were split down the middle whether they would have voted for it.  A slight majority believed it will have only minor effects.  House Minority Leader John Boehner (R – OH) has already called for its repeal, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) says it will “stifle growth and kill jobs.” The bill also grants a minor oversight of the Federal Reserve (audits allowed only after emergency loans are made, excluding monetary policy) and don’t address Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac at all.

Further Reading:

CNN on the bill passing: http://money.cnn.com/2010/07/15/news/economy/Wall_Street_reform_bill_vote/index.htm

CNN on the bill’s effects: http://money.cnn.com/2010/06/25/news/economy/whats_in_the_reform_bill/index.htm?postversion=2010063018

Wall Street Journal: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703722804575369050948609966.html