What's Wrong With the Financial Reform Bill? Everything

Includes: KBE, KRE, XLF
by: Tom Brown

I agree with every single word of the Wall Street Journal’s denunciation of the financial reform bill that Congress seems set to pass. This bit sets the tone nicely:

The bill represents the triumph of the very regulators and Congressmen who did so much to foment the financial panic, giving them vast new discretion over every corner of American financial markets.

Chris Dodd and Barney Frank, those Fannie Mae cheerleaders, played the largest role in writing the bill. . . . It's as if Tony Hayward of BP were allowed to write new rules on deep water drilling.

This is a bad, bad piece of legislation that will, at a minimum, pinch the availability of credit at the very moment the economy is gasping for it, and might even tip the economy back into recession. In 2008 and 2009, the country’s entire financial system very nearly collapsed. Had the meltdown happened, the result would have been mass insolvencies, a deep depression, and years of economic chaos. So what has Congress done to prevent a repeat of what went on two years ago? It’s decided to give even more power to the very regulators who showed themselves to be clueless and incompetent in the runup to the crisis. Or, as the Journal puts it, “[O]ur Washington rulers have taken 2,000 or so pages to double and triple down on the old system that failed.

Exactly. Congress has reacted to a financial calamity with an amazing lack of imagination—and the Journal is absolutely right to call lawmakers out. Read the whole editorial. It’s a convincing, and damning, indictment.