20100329 bond trading 18
A bond trader observes offers prices in the U.S. Treasury 10-year T-note options pit at the Chicago Board of Trade in Chicago, Ill. Bond prices where up slightly during mid-day trading. - 


JEREMY HOBSON: To Washington now, where House Republicans are taking aim at the financial reform law that was passed eariler this year by Congress. The law includes limits on banks' using their customers' money to buy and sell risky investments. It's call proprietary trading and some experts say it puts the whole economy at risk.

But as our Washington Bureau Chief John Dimsdale reports, Republicans don't see a problem with it.

JOHN DIMSDALE: Alabama Republican Spencer Bachus is a leading contender to take over the House Financial Services Committee. And he's already warning regulators who are writing the new rules not to be too tough on banks. James Barth, a banking expert at the Milken Institute, explains why.

JAMES BARTH: The financial crisis that began in 2007 was not in any way due to proprietary trading.

Republicans say the real problem was falling home prices and poor lending standards, so limits on proprietary trading won't prevent a future crisis.

But Temple University economics professor William Dunkelberg says big banks did rely too much on trading risky assets.

WILLIAM DUNKELBERG: Rather than on traditional banking and paying attention to the quality of assets that they purchased, like mortgages.

It'll take a year to craft new bank rules and Republicans are ready to grill regulators if they think those rules are counterproductive.

In Washington, I'm John Dimsdale for Marketplace.