Seeking Balance: Banking and Financial Regulatory Reform Legislation


Summary: On May 20, the Senate passed S. 3217, the Restoring American Financial Stability Act of 2010, more commonly known as the banking or financial regulatory reform legislation. Most of the four weeks of debate on this legislation was spent working through a list of amendments affecting such areas as proprietary trading by banks; greater consumer protection; and the trading of over-the-counter of derivatives, among others. We note, however, that the Senate's actions are not the final word on any of these areas: a number of issues remain unresolved and need to be addressed when the Senate attempts to reconcile its version of this legislation with a differing version, passed earlier by the House of Representatives. As a result, the opportunity remains to direct the impact of this legislation before it reaches the president's desk, which is expected. Beyond that, opportunities will arise to impact final program direction through future rulemaking.

Reed Smith's Public Policy & Infrastructure Practice has been monitoring deliberations on financial reform legislation in the House and Senate since the beginning of the 111th Congress. We have represented clients before congressional committees involved in drafting this legislation, and have developed relationships with a number of Members and staff on those committees, all of whom will be involved in drafting efforts on any House-Senate conference report, along with monitoring implementation by the Executive Branch of a final law. We are available to discuss how to develop an immediate lobbying strategy, as well as a longer-term effort that works with both Congress and the Obama administration.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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