Financial reform: A lot to get through
Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.) speaks with an aide while participating in a Senate-House Conference Committee meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.
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Kai Ryssdal:I don't know if they're technically in a back room, but House and Senate negotiators are meeting today to hash out the last details of their financial reform bill. That's actually no mean feat because Policymakers have been talking about financial reform since pretty much the day Lehman Brothers went under. But as Marketplace's Nancy Marshall Genzer explains, there are a mind-numbing number of details to hash out.
Nancy Marshall Genzer: The negotiators are still wrestling with controversies, like what's a bank anyway?
House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank.
Rep. Barney Frank: We amend the definition of financial companies in the denominator of the 10 percent concentration limit. We think it's a better representation.
So that's cleared up. But nobody can seem to agree on Section 121 of the Senate bill, which says, "This section authorizes the Board of Governors, if it determines that a non-bank financial company supervised by the Board of Governors pursuant to a determination under section 113 or a bank holding company with total consolidated assets of $50 billion or more poses a grave threat to the financial stability of the United States, to require such company to comply with conditions on the conduct of certain activities, terminate certain activities, or, if the Board of Governors determines that such action is inadequate to mitigate a threat to the financial stability of the United States, sell or transfer assets to unaffiliated entities..."
There's obviously lots of room for debate on that. Still, the negotiators plan to finish their work tomorrow, so the president can sign the bill by July 4.
In Washington, I'm Nancy Marshall Genzer for Marketplace.