March 11, 2010

This is a very interesting turn of events.

Bob Corker was looking for Chris Dodd. When the Tennessee Republican got him on the phone, he started to get the feeling that financial regulatory reform talks were collapsing after weeks of negotiations.

"You've been a great partner," Dodd, the chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, told Corker, who had been taking a lead role in the talks.

"My little antennae went up," said Corker in response to Dodd's use of the past tense to describe their partnership. On Wednesday afternoon, the pair met privately and Dodd broke the news: He was moving forward with his party on reform, cutting short negotiations with Corker that have been dragging on for roughly a month.

Dodd (D-Conn.) announced on Thursday morning that he will unveil a bill on Monday without GOP support and he intends to bring it to a vote the following week.

And I believe the pressure we've been putting on Dodd not to fold the CFPA into the FED is one of the major reasons he broke off with Corker.

Corker said that the second pressure point for Dodd was that "members on the left were getting nervous" about where the Consumer Financial Protection Agency would be located. Progressive Democrats have been particularly vocal in their opposition to placing the CFPA inside the Federal Reserve and Dodd was beginning to wonder if he had enough Democratic votes, he said.

The same Democrats are also concerned that the CFPA will lack sufficient independence and authority. But, said Corker, Dodd had accepted a GOP proposal to create a board of regulators with veto power over any rules passed by the CFPA. The panel would include the SEC, FDIC, Fed, Treasury and CFTC.

It looks like Queen Snowe will step in and help in the end.

Democrats, however, do not need Corker to pass the bill. Earlier this week, Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) told HuffPost that once the bill was out of committee she looked forward to playing a central role in negotiations. She already joined Sens. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) and Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) in sending a letter to Dodd, calling for tough regulation of derivatives. Dodd's decision to move forward without Republican support in the committee opens the door for Snowe, who's more moderate than Corker and Shelby, to step in.

Corker will probably go on all the shows and do a bipartisan whine for the Villagers to embrace. You know republicans are only watering down the bill as much as possible.

Republicans wanted banking regulators to take the lead in enforcing consumer rules, but Democrats argued that such a system would water down consumer protections


Americans unequivocally want strong Wall Street regulations.

An overwhelming majority of Americans wants Wall Street subjected to tougher regulation in the aftermath of the bank bailout and the bonus scandals that have rocked the U.S. financial sector, according to a Harris poll released on Thursday.The findings suggest that 82 percent of Americans want the government to clamp down more strongly on Wall Street excesses, with a particular emphasis on bonus schemes that have rewarded employees at loss-making companies such as American International Group.

John Harwood said on CNBC that Democrats want to get this done sooner than later and that's why they moved in this direction.

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