As politicians go, I have a relatively high opinion of both House Financial Services chairman Barney Frank and Senate Banking chair Chris Dodd. If I were to go looking for two people to oversee the regulation of Wall Street, I’d be hard-pressed to find too many people I trust more to do the job. To do an overhaul like that, you have to have experience. Frank and Dodd have worked on these issues for decades. That, of course, is also a source of concern. They’ve both become cozy with the big players in the industries. I don’t really trust any politician to stand up to Wall Street.
Chairman Dodd has released his plan, and it’s getting the correct kind of response.
Industry groups responded to the proposals with outrage.
“To some degree, it looks like they’re just blowing up everything for the sake of change,” said Ed Yingling, president of the American Bankers Association. “If this were to happen, the regulatory system would be in chaos for years. You have to look at the real-world impact of this.”
“I could have tried to draft something that was, sort of, already a compromise of ideas here,” Dodd said. “But I think you make a huge mistake by doing that. You’re given very few moments in history to make this kind of a difference, and we’re trying to do that.”
From what I can tell, Barney Frank is crafting something more in line with what the administration is recommending. But that doesn’t mean that Frank’s bill is inferior. In some respects, it may be stronger. I’ve been focused on health care, so I can’t give you an informed opinion on the relative merits of the House and Senate bills, yet. I’m encouraged that Dodd is thinking big and that his plan is causing outrage. Now I’ll have to investigate the details.