Financial Services Regulatory Reform Update - March 4, 2011

Since the start of the New Year we have seen the Administration engage in a frantic pace of rulemaking in an effort to implement Dodd-Frank in a timely manner. During this time, Congress had, for the most part, deferred action, appearing to need the time in order to get its “sea legs.” However, last week confirmed that the Congress has finally found its footing and industry should anticipate another busy year with continued battles on various elements of the Dodd-Frank bill (in both implementation and oversight) and a new front that has opened on the issue of GSE reform.

In terms of the first part of Dodd-Frank that may be ripe for legislative reform, the general consensus is that something will be done, at least in the House of Representatives, on the issue of interchange, a/k/a the “Durbin Amendment.” However, because Senator Durbin has made it clear that he does not intend to let any “technical fix” move through the Senate and, as discussed further below, it seems that the Fed is clearly telling members of Congress that their hands are tied, any path forward on an “interchange fix” remains uncertain.

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