Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Royal decree on low-cut tops

Read more

DEBATE

Ukraine, The Escalation: No Stopping Putin? (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Ukraine, The Escalation: No Stopping Putin?

Read more

FOCUS

Bangladesh: Textile workers' lives still at risk?

Read more

TALKING EUROPE

José Bové, Candidate for the EU Commission presidency, Group of the Greens

Read more

WEB NEWS

NYPD's online campaign backfires

Read more

ENCORE!

Celebrating the Bard's birthday in Britain

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Yuki Tatsumi, Senior Associate of the East Asia Program, Stimson Center

Read more

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

USA: Executions halted over drugs secrecy

Read more

  • Russia orders military drills as Ukraine moves on separatists

    Read more

  • Israel halts Middle East peace talks over Hamas deal

    Read more

  • A radio station preaches peace and tolerance in CAR

    Read more

  • Platini: PSG in danger over Financial Fair Play rules

    Read more

  • Ségolène Royal denies banning cleavage at French ministry

    Read more

  • Afghan guard kills US doctors in Kabul hospital attack

    Read more

  • Palestinian unity deal stirs anger in Israel

    Read more

  • Video: Mayor in east Ukraine ready ‘to turn Slaviansk into battlefield’

    Read more

  • US would defend Japan in islands dispute, Obama says

    Read more

  • New far-right mayor moves to quash Paris region mosque

    Read more

  • US soldiers arrive in Poland as Ukraine crisis continues

    Read more

  • Fatah, Hamas agree to form Palestinian unity government

    Read more

  • Millions of Syrians desperately need aid, says UN

    Read more

  • Muslims in CAR pray for an escape route

    Read more

  • Madrid beat Bayern 1-0 in first leg of Champions League semis

    Read more

  • Britain's ex-PM Blair warns against spread of radical Islam

    Read more

  • Turkish PM offers condolences to descendants of Armenians killed in 1915

    Read more

  • Gay marriage, one year on: ‘French civilisation did not crumble’

    Read more

  • Colombian president reinstates firebrand Bogota mayor

    Read more

  • NYPD public relations campaign on Twitter goes awry

    Read more

  • In pictures: Violent protests erupt in Rio

    Read more

Americas

US Congress passes sweeping financial reforms

©

Video by Catherine VIETTE

Text by Eric Olander

Latest update : 2010-07-16

Two years after the most serious financial crisis since the Great Depression, the United States Congress has overhauled the country’s financial regulatory system, introducing more protection for consumers and tighter control of banks.

In a bold effort to repair the damage from the 2008 financial crisis, the United States Congress passed sweeping economic reform legislation Thursday that will touch almost every aspect of the American financial system. The bill cleared its final hurdle on Thursday with a 60-39 vote in the Senate, and will now makes it way down Pennsylvania Avenue to the White House where President Barack Obama will sign it into law. 

Broad new government powers
 
The bill’s passage marks another key victory for President Obama and his Democratic
Democrats celebrate passage of financial reform bill
party who had spent much of the past two-years battling for financial reform package on this scale. Supporters argue the new law will go a long way to preventing a recurrence of the near economic meltdown that brought on the worst recession since the Great Depression of the 1930s. "I regret I can't give you your job back, restore that foreclosed home, put retirement monies back in your account," said Democratic Senator Christopher Dodd, one of the bill's chief authors. "What I can do is to see to it that we never, ever again go through what this nation has been through."  The new law's main provisions include:
  • A new council of regulators led by the Treasury Secretary to monitor economic risks
  • New rules to protect consumers from risky financial products
  • New rules to govern how banks trade in high-risk financial products such as credit derivatives that were among the main causes of the 2008 market crash.
  • Increased oversight of credit ratings agencies including Moody’s and Fitch who will now be subject to greater liability.
  • The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) will have new powers to regulate the hedge fund industry.
  • Large banks will face tighter scrutiny over their cash reserves that are used to offset against bad loans.
Republican objections
 
This was a hard-fought victory for the president who faced formidable opposition from Republicans and a massive lobbying effort on the part of the American financial industry. They sought to restrain the bill’s far reach that aims to reign in an industry that had become increasingly de-regulated over the past half-century. “It creates vast new bureaucracies with little accountability and seriously, I believe, undermines the competitiveness of the American economy,” complained Alabama Senator Richard Shelby who echoed the disappointment felt among conservatives. “Unfortunately, the bill does very little to make our system safer,” he added.  
 
Republicans were not alone in their opposition. Former regulators, bankers and many leading economists are among those worried that the new legislation would do little in the event of another financial crisis. Former FDIC Chairman William Issacs told the Wall Street Journal he does not expect the new law to have much impact. He said it was a mistake to give the US Treasury department so much new authority, "they do not have the personnel. And they do not have the political independence to handle a crisis properly" he said.
 
U.S. President Obama comments on the new financial reform law passed by the Senate
The White House said on Thursday President Obama is expected to sign the legislation next week. Other perspectives on the new financial reform law:

 

Date created : 2010-07-16

  • USA

    US Senate passes historic Wall Street reforms

    Read more

  • USA

    Lawmakers pass historic bill to overhaul Wall Street

    Read more

  • FINANCE

    Goldman Sachs agrees to pay record 550 million dollar fine

    Read more

Comments

COMMENT(S)