Following months of wrangling over everything from a fiduciary standard for brokers to systemic regulation, all that’s left in financial services reform is the voting and the signing, along with some shouting and finger-pointing. After a marathon final session that began on Thursday, June 24, House and Senate conferees met into the early hours of Friday, June 25, and reconciled by 5:39 AM their differing versions of financial services reform legislation. The voting in both the House and Senate reconciliation committee went along strict party lines, likely presaging the vote on the final legislation in both chambers.
The massive bill now goes to both houses of Congress for expected approval, and then will be sent to the White House for signing by President Barack Obama, who had long set a deadline of July 4 to have reform legislation on his desk. In a recent interview with Investment Advisor’s John Sullivan, Pershing CEO Rich Brueckner said that Obama wanted the bill to be passed in time for his participation in the G-20 meeting which begins in Toronto on June 26. Having such visible proof of the U.S.’s backbone in getting strict in reforming financial services would allow Obama to talk tough on reform at the G-20 meeting, Brueckner suggested.
The Associated Press reported on June 25 that Obama told reporters he was gratified by Congress’s work, which included 90% of what he wanted. “We’ve all seen what happens when there is inadequate oversight and insufficient transparency on Wall Street.” He said the provisions in the bill “will hold Wall Street accountable so we can help prevent another financial crisis like the one we’re still recovering from.”
What’s in the Bill?