aside US House Passes The Financial Choice Act To Roll Back 2010 Dodd-Frank Reforms

Image result for photos of house working on Financial Choice actHere we go again. While the world was fixated on the TV to watch the FBI Director James Comey testifying at the June 8th US Senate Intel hearing about the events that led up to his firing by the republican President Donald Trump to remove from the White House, the burden of the FBI’s Trump-Russian connections probe, the US House representatives were hard at work in dismantling the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act. This bill was designed to prevent financial institutions from repeating the same mistakes which caused the 2008 US financial meltdown and to protect customers from banking excesses that unfairly disadvantaged the average Joe consumers.

So, not only was the US. Senate hard at work to fast track under “special rules” the AHCA/ the republican healthcare bill designed to push away millions of Americans from being able to access affordable healthcare insurance, the US House law makers were also busy in their attempts to water down or eliminate consumer protections which help the average Joe workers. Both of these legislative products have nothing to do with making the average Americans’ lives better but instead, both impose significant hardships. But these same republicans will tell the public that they needed to do something to salvage the failing current healthcare system of Obamacare and / or that their actions were required to create more jobs. They omit the part where the wealthy are being helped to the tune of billions of dollars in tax savings and the de-regulation of financial institution rules with these two acts.

Image result for photos of house working on Financial Choice act

My previous blog focused on the AHCA Act but this one is focused on the US House’s plans to roll back the Dodd-Frank bill with the Financial Choice Act…

On June 8, 2017, Alan Rappeport of the New York Times penned the following report, “Bill to Erase Some Dodd-Frank Banking Rules Passes in House.”

Excerpts:

“The House approved legislation on Thursday to erase a number of core financial regulations put in place by the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act, as Republicans moved a step closer to delivering on their promises to eliminate rules that they claim have strangled small businesses and stagnated the economy.”

“The vote is a significant step for a measure that still faces long odds of becoming law because of the slim majority that Republicans hold in the Senate.”

Image result for photos of house working on Financial Choice act
Hensarling

Even Wall Street lobbyists and lawyers were pessimistic about the chances of the bill, the Financial Choice Act.

“There is zero chance that the Choice Act survives” in its current form in the Senate, said Matthew Dyckman, a lawyer in the financial services practice at Goodwin.”

“The bill has maintained a low profile compared with Republican plans on health care and taxes, but rolling back Dodd-Frank represents a major part of the Republican agenda. The Trump administration hopes that by unshackling businesses from burdensome regulations, renegotiating trade deals and cutting tax rates, it can help the economy grow faster and well-paying jobs will become more plentiful.”

“Ultimately the Financial Choice Act is a jobs bill,” Speaker Paul D. Ryan said on the House floor on Thursday. “It is why we were sent here, to look out for the people who work hard and do the right thing.”

Image result for photos of house working on Financial Choice act“The House vote comes before a Treasury Department report due in the coming days that will detail the Trump administration’s plans for easing financial regulations. And a lighter regulatory touch is already expected as a result of the administration’s appointments of banking industry veterans to serve as financial regulators.”

“The bill passed the House with only Republican support. But it is possible that bipartisan backing could emerge for parts of the legislation or for fixes to Dodd-Frank that could eventually become law.”

“The Choice Act would exempt some financial institutions that meet capital and liquidity requirements from many of Dodd-Frank’s restrictions that limit risk taking. It would also replace Dodd-Frank’s method of dealing with large and failing financial institutions, known as the orderly liquidation authority — which critics say reinforces the idea that some banks are too big to fail — with a new bankruptcy code provision.”

Image result for photos of house working on Financial Choice act“In addition, the legislation would weaken the powers of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Under the proposed law, the president could fire the agency’s director at will and its oversight powers would be curbed.”

“The bill would also eliminate the Labor Department’s fiduciary rule, which requires brokers to act in the best interest of their clients when providing investment advice about retirement. The first parts of the rule are scheduled to go into effect on Friday. The rule was completed last spring under Mr. Obama after years of development.”

“According to an analysis by the Congressional Budget Office, the Financial Choice Act would reduce federal deficits by $24.1 billion over a decade. The budget office cautioned, however, that there was considerable uncertainty in its estimates because it was difficult to predict when a “systemically important” financial firm might fail.”

Image result for photos of house working on Financial Choice act“Business lobbyists and conservative think tanks have been largely supportive of the plans, which they argue will ease lending and help small companies create jobs.”

“The 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act is among the most inappropriately named laws ever enacted in the U.S.,” said Norbert Michel, a Heritage Foundation research fellow. “It neither reformed Wall Street nor protected consumers, and it imposed massive new regulations on banks far away from Wall Street.”

“While expressing polite, if restrained, gratitude to Representative Jeb Hensarling, the Texas Republican who championed the dismantling of Dodd-Frank for years, banking lobbyists were realistic about actual changes the Senate Democrats would be willing to swallow.”

“The Senate, they said, is expected to preserve the Consumer Financial Protection Board and the Volcker Rule, which restricts profitable forms of trading by investment banks. A Senate version would probably keep in place most of the rules dictating how much capital lenders have to hold in case of losses.”

Related image“The most significant relief that Wall Street institutions can expect from Congress is tweaking a rule in Dodd-Frank to allow them to charge higher rates on mortgages that they hold, as opposed to the loans they package and sell in securitizations.”

“In short, the rules governing the nation’s largest banks, like J.P. Morgan Chase and Bank of America, are not expected to change very much. Some of those banks have been cool to the Choice Act anyway, since they have invested large resources to comply with Dodd-Frank.”

“It’s an important first step,” Robert Nichols, president and chief executive of the American Bankers Association, said of the vote. “We are seeking targeted, narrow changes and adjustments to a law that is seven years old, and even the authors admit openly that there are parts of it where we missed the mark and we overshot.”

“The nation’s community banks, on the other hand, hope to see some significant easing of regulations on their lending and capital levels.”

“These vocal and typically conservative-leaning bankers have complained for years that Dodd-Frank has strangled their business with needless paperwork.”

“These rules were meant to placate some bureaucrat in an ivory tower in Washington, D.C.,” said John M. Barrett, chief executive of Citrus Bank in Tampa.”

Image result for photos of house working on Financial Choice act“Among progressive groups and Democrats in Congress, the passage of the Choice Act was painted as nothing more than a gift to rich bankers. They said Republicans’ support for the legislation was evidence that their populist promises on the campaign trail were empty.”

“It’s a bill that’s so harmful to vast swaths of the American public if it became law,” said Lisa Donner, executive director of Americans for Financial Reform. “It would make it easier for predatory lenders to rip people off. It would make it easier for Wall Street to keep taking $17 billion out of retirees’ pockets by repealing the fiduciary rule. It would make it easier for big Wall Street banks to take the kind of risks in pursuit of short-term gains that go directly to the pockets of the tiny handful of people at the top that led to the financial crisis.”

“Democratic political organizations such as American Bridge are rolling out digital advertisements in 14 congressional districts on Friday to assail lawmakers who voted to change Dodd-Frank.”

Image result for photos of house working on Financial Choice act“Just like with Trumpcare, every Republican who supports the Choice Act is acting on behalf of the wealthiest Americans at the rest of the country’s expense, and the public will hold them accountable,” said Andrew Bates, a spokesman for American Bridge.”

“On the floor of the House on Thursday, as Democrats in lock step expressed their opposition to the bill they have nicknamed the Wrong Choice, they argued that Republicans had forgotten the lessons of the 2008 financial crisis.”

“Representative Nancy Pelosi, Democrat of California, the minority leader said “House Republicans are feeding American families to the wolves on Wall Street.”

7 comments

  1. Gronda, this bill as configured does not stand a snow ball’s chance as it will require 60 votes. Rolling back the CFPB screws Americans. If people took off their tribal mindset and heard a five minute discussion on what the CFPB does and what this bill does to it, they would cry foul. With that said, some parts of Dodd Frank overstepped, so good debate around what to change is welcome, yet good debate is not occurring in the House and is tenuous in the Senate. Keith

    • Dear Keith,

      I put the dismantling of the component parts of the Dodd-Frank Act with the Financial Choice Act in the same category as the AHCA BILL.

      BOTH THE ORIGINALS, THE ACA (OBAMACARE) AND THE DODD-FRANK ACT NEEDED FIXING BUT THAT IS NOT WHAT THE REPUBLICAN LEGISLATORS ARE DOING.

      THE AVERAGE JOE VOTERS’ INTERESTS AND NEEDS ARE IMMATERIAL TO THESE GUYS IN WASHINGTON DC.

      Hugs, Gronda

        • Dear Keith,

          And both legitimately need improvement but this is not what’s happening. If I put myself in the shoes of the hard working folks who were so angry at government to where they were tempted to vote for DDT, I get it. DDT happens to be a very flawed messenger.

          Ciao, Gronda

        • When Elizabeth Warren was attacked as a senator candidate for implementing the CFPB, she found something simple to use, the truth. When she told people what the CFPB did, they applauded it.

    • Dear Suzanne,

      These greedy republicans just aren’t giving up on enriching the wealthy at the expense of average hard working folks. Thanks a million times over for all of your support and for this reblog.

      Hugs, Gronda

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