Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 01 August 2014 (part 2)

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Coverage of Gaza in the Israeli media

Read more

REPORTERS

1914-1918: The Depths of Hell

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 01 August 2014

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Exclusive: Israel's US ambassador speaks to FRANCE 24

Read more

#THE 51%

World War One: The war that changed women’s lives

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Ségolène Royal goes for green

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

A look back at some of the Observers' best stories

Read more

DEBATE

Argentina Defaults: Kirchner Cries Foul Over 'Vulture Funds' (part 2)

Read more

  • Hamas denies capturing Israeli soldier as Gaza truce lies in tatters

    Read more

  • Exclusive: Israel's US ambassador speaks to FRANCE 24

    Read more

  • Police 'chokehold' caused NYC death, coroner rules

    Read more

  • Air France ground workers to strike on August 2

    Read more

  • Rogue general denies Islamist seizure of Benghazi

    Read more

  • Ugandan court strikes down anti-gay legislation

    Read more

  • 1914-1918: The Depths of Hell

    Read more

  • Regional summit to tackle deadly Ebola outbreak

    Read more

  • French hospital to open wine bar for terminally ill patients

    Read more

  • Video: Tipping is dying out in French café culture

    Read more

  • €2.5 million in cocaine ‘disappears’ from Paris police HQ

    Read more

  • Appeal court keeps French rogue trader Kerviel in jail

    Read more

  • Interactive: France’s new plan to counter jihadism in Africa

    Read more

  • Ukrainian army suffers losses in separatist attack

    Read more

  • Argentinian markets plummet following default

    Read more

  • French Jews speak of growing fear in Paris amid Gaza conflict

    Read more

Americas

US Senate passes historic Wall Street reforms

Video by Catherine VIETTE

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-07-16

A bill that will usher in the biggest changes to US financial regulation since the 1930s received Senate approval Thursday, by 60 votes to 39. The bill, which imposes vast new regulations on Wall Street, will now be sent to President Barack Obama.

AFP - The US Senate gave final approval Thursday to the most sweeping rewrite of Wall Street rules since the Great Depression of the 1930s, handing President Barack Obama a legacy-shaping political victory.

Obama, due to sign the 2,300-page bill into law next week, promised that it would put an end to the kind of "shadowy deals" which led to the 2008 global economic meltdown that sank the US economy into a deep, job-stealing recession.

Speaking at the White House shortly after the Senate's mostly party-line 60-39 vote, the president said the legislation would curb Wall Street "irresponsibility" and protect consumers from big banks' "tricks and traps."

Obama told Americans wary of his handling of the crisis that the bill would handcuff "unscrupulous" mortgage lenders who helped bring on the crisis and unleash an "innovative, creative, competitive" economy less prone to panic.

The bill, Obama's top domestic priority, rewrites the rules for arcane financial transactions on Wall Street as well as day-to-day consumer dealings on home mortgages, student loans, credit cards and payday lenders.

It was the second historic legislative triumph this year for Obama, who signed a bill overhauling US health care in March but whose Democratic allies face a possible rout in November mid-term elections amid voter unhappiness.

In a sign of deep US political polarization, just three of the Senate's 41 Republicans joined 55 Democrats and their two independent allies to pass the measure, while one Democrat opposed the bill.

The measure sets up a new consumer financial protection agency, an early-warning system to predict and prevent the next crisis, mechanisms aimed at liquidating rather than saving banks once deemed "too big to fail."

The legislation also closes loopholes in regulations and requires greater transparency and accountability for hedge funds, mortgage brokers and payday lenders, and arcane financial instruments called derivatives.

It also includes a somewhat diluted version of the so-called "Volcker Rule" -- named for former Fed chairman Paul Volcker -- curbing commercial banks' ability to make speculative investments that are not on behalf of clients.

Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell charged the measure would impose "countless burdensome, unintended consequences" and "stifle growth and kill more jobs in the middle of a deep recession."

"We're giving Wall Street the strongest oversight it's ever had -- not to stifle it, but to safeguard us," said Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

US Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke hailed the bill as "a welcome and far-reaching step toward preventing a replay of the recent financial crisis," while US Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner vowed to take the new standards global.

"We will work hard to bring the rest of the world along with us as we raise the standards of financial protection in the United States and reinforce the competitiveness of our country's most innovative firms," said Geithner.

Republicans mostly opposed the bill, charging it gives too much power to regulators who failed to stem the previous crisis and does nothing to rein in activities by government-backed mortgage giants Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.

"What we're going to wind up doing is we're going to be driving jobs and business overseas with this massive piece of legislation that truly doesn't address the problem," charged Republican Senator Saxby Chambliss.

And House Republican Minority Leader John Boehner declared that the measure "ought to be repealed."

Republican Senators Olympia Snowe, Susan Collins and Scott Brown backed the bill, while Democrat Russell Feingold opposed the measure as insufficiently tough.

Senate Banking Committee chairman Christopher Dodd and House Financial Services Committee chairman Barney Frank crafted the compromise legislation from a set of priorities Obama laid out in 2009.

"It's the best set of additional consumer protections we've ever had," Frank, speaking of the measure, told CNN.

The US House of Representatives approved the legislation on June 30 in a largely party-line 237-192 vote.

Before passing the bill, senators first voted 60-38 to end debate on the bill and then voted 60-39 to dismiss a final procedural roadblock.

 

Date created : 2010-07-15

  • USA

    Lawmakers pass historic bill to overhaul Wall Street

    Read more

COMMENT(S)