Financial Regulatory Reform: Coming Soon

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In the immortal words of the Johnny Cash in his legendary Folsom Prison Blues, “I hear the train a comin’ . . . .” From key players on both sides of the aisle as well as from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, a consistent message is being sent – Federal Financial Regulatory Reform is coming and many predict it will come sooner than later.

The financial industry and its institutions have been both hit hard by and blamed frequently for the 2008 financial crisis and the resulting aftershocks. Accordingly, Washington has been working for the last two years to craft a legislative response to one of the greatest economic turmoils of this country’s history. While there have been bi-partisan efforts that have appeared very close to producing a proposal with consensus along the way, the progress of Financial Regulatory Reform has suffered from spotlight-stealing topics of bailouts and health care reform as well as the political fallout created by each. In addition to hours of study, hard work and negotiations already logged, it seems that health care reform passage has freed-up policy-makers’ attention and provided momentum toward finalizing a Financial Regulatory Reform package that is pass-able.

As such, U.S. Senator Chris Dodd, chairman of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, released the second version of his comprehensive financial regulatory reform bill titled, “Restoring American Financial Stability Act of 2010” (the “Bill”). The Bill has since been voted out of committee, albeit strictly along party lines, and now will be debated by the full Senate.

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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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