Tuesday, June 8, 2010

THE CASE AGAINST LYNN JENKINS CHAPTER 4: A Deeper Look at the Record on reigning in Wall Street.

This is Lynn Jenkins, she does not represent us.

Out of these 100 votes, one really stood out, H.R. 3170, the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act, 2010. It sounds like just another spending bill, it is so much more.

Among the stated purposes of the bill the Committee Report said:

For a number of years, the leaders of many regulatory agencies have favored a relatively lax policy and argued that self-interest and self-regulation would work better than government regulation. The Committee is encouraged that new leadership has rejected that approach at a number of agencies funded in this bill. With that in mind, the Committee recommends additional funding above the budget request for the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Consumer Product Safety Commission, and the Federal Trade Commission.

Nowhere has the failure of self-regulation been more obvious and consequential than in financial regulation. We are experiencing the deepest economic downturn since the Great Depression of the 1930s because of a meltdown in our financial infrastructure. Lax regulation allowed financial institutions to become excessively leveraged, to create risky assets that were formally rated as safe, to provide credit to uncreditworthy borrowers, to develop complex new derivatives with trillions of dollars of covered value that investors did not understand, and to create Ponzi and other fraudulent schemes of unprecedented size. These runaway financial excesses contributed to excesses in the housing sector. The crises in the financial and housing sectors have reinforced each other in a downward spiral since 2007 that has spilled over to the rest of the economy. The financial meltdown has deprived many worthy borrowers of credit--not only homeowners and homebuyers but also small businesses, auto buyers and dealers, students and others.

This bill is providing money to rebuild failed financial regulatory agencies. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is one of the key regulatory agencies where new leadership has made commitments to sensible regulation and tough enforcement. The SEC can help prevent a repetition of recent financial excesses by playing its role in restoring and maintaining a sound financial infrastructure. The SEC potentially oversees many investment institutions and instruments that have created so much havoc, sets a framework for accounting principles and rating agencies, and has authority to promulgate, investigate violations of, and enforce tough rules.

The Committee has boosted funding for the SEC to $1.036 billion, going beyond the Administration's request for the second consecutive year. That funding permits the SEC to increase its staff by about 140 per year in both fiscal years 2009 and 2010.

H.R. 3170 passed the House on roll call vote by a margin of 219 to 208 with Lynn Jenkins voting no.

Keeping Wall Street in check is not a value which we and Lynn Jenkins share. Mind you, she's great at correcting spelling errors and doing statutory housekeeping. The United States Code is a work in progress and even Congress has to tidy up their work from time to time. That's what Lynn Jenkins did with Securities Law Technical Corrections, H,R. 2947.

Housekeeping is great. Reigning in Wall Street with laws that have real regulatory teeth is what's needed to make sure Wall Street Fat Cats are never again allowed to let greed override good prudent decision making practices.
We Need To Get Wall Street Fat Cats Off Our Backs

The Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2009, H.R. 4173,  passed the House on December 11, 2009 by a vote of 223 to 202. Lynn Jenkins voted against the bill. On May 20th the Senate passed this bill with an amendment. A Conference Committee of Representatives and Senators will meet to resolve the differences between the two versions of the bill.

This law deals with real change on the issues of Executive Compensation, Derivatives, Investor Protection, Mortgage & Predatory Lending, Securities Holding Companies, Consumer Protection, and other issues. To view a side by side comparison chart of the two bills go to the House Financial Services Committee website at http://financialservices.house.gov/Key_Issues/Financial_Regulatory_Reform/FinancialRegulatoryReform/H.R._4173_Side_by_Side/Financial_Regulatory_Reform06072010.html

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