After 18 months, Wall Street reform is on its way to the President's desk. The Senate invoked cloture by a vote of 60-38 and the final conference committee report passed by the same margin. A good summary of the key provisions can be found here.
Even before the final passage, Minority Leader John Boehner called for its repeal.
"I think it ought to be repealed. There are common sense things we should do to plug the holes in the regulatory system that were there and to bring more transparency to financial transactions," he said. "Because transparency is like sunlight and sunlight is the best disinfectant."
"I think the financial reform bill is ill-conceived," he said. "I think it is going to make credit harder for the American people to get."
Here is a list of Boehner's 1,299,120 reasons why repeal appeals to him. Draw your own conclusions.
Reactions from around the blogs:
Daily Kos' Joan McCarter:
In this Congress, it's a major achievement--any comprehensive legislation is. But it needs to be viewed as a very good start to reforming Wall Street, and not the be all and end all Wall Street reform.
Arguing that new safeguards and accountability measures should be "repealed," before they even pass, makes it sound as if Republicans -- if given a chance by voters -- plan to go out of their way to look out for the Wall Street lobbyists and hedge fund managers that brought the system to the verge of collapse. (Those would be, by the way, the same Wall Street lobbyists congressional Republicans huddled with when plotting how best to kill reform legislation.) [read more]
This is, by and large, a financial regulation bill. There are exceptions, and its authors have thought long and hard about trying to prevent regulatory failure, but in the absence of total structural reform, it was always going to be a financial-regulation bill. It had no other choice. The result, according to the Chamber of Commerce, calls for 533 rules, 60 studies and 94 reports. Regulators will be in charge of all of them. Which is only to say that we're not done, not by a long shot. The thing about regulation is that implementation is everything, and then vigilance is everything. [read more]
Greg Sargent points out that Democrats are winning the larger battle slowly with the passage of credit card, health insurance, and Wall Street reforms alongside the stimulus.
I have concerns and kudos for this bill. I applaud the Consumer Protection Agency and derivatives trading provisions loudly. On the other hand, the success of this effort will rise and fall on the quality of the regulators enforcing it. A large part of the Wall Street meltdown was due to an utter lack of enforcement of existing regulations. Now a new regulatory era is dawning on Wall Street. Are the regulators up to the task of really digging in and enforcing the law?
That remains to be seen.
UPDATE: In other news, Goldman-Sachs is expected to announce a settlement with the SEC and BP appears to have stopped the flow of oil from the well, driving the price of their shares up 6% immediately following the announcement.
UPDATE #2: Aaaand... a chemical tanker has run aground near Galveston, creating yet another potential disaster for the Gulf of Mexico.