Saturday, June 26, 2010

The Mountain Straineth...

I don't have enough independent knowledge to evaluate Barry Ritholtz' harsh appraisal of the financial (non?)reform bill. But this morning's account in the New York Times does not raise any hopes.
[A]fter weeks of intense lobbying and months of debate, Congress in the end stopped short of prohibiting some of the practices that led to the crisis two years ago, betting instead that a newly empowered regulatory regime can rein in the big financial players without shackling the markets and drying up the flow of credit to businesses. ...

The financial industry won some important victories, even if they face significantly heightened regulation. They fought off some of the toughest restrictions on their ability to invest their own funds. Most significantly, they thwarted an attempt to make them give up their highly profitable derivatives trading desks. And big lobbying fights remain in the future, when regulators begin the nitty-gritty task of turning complex, sometimes vague laws into real-world rules for these businesses to follow.

Industry analysts predicted that banks would most likely adapt easily to the new regulatory framework and thrive. As a result, bank stocks were mostly higher Friday, prompting some skeptics to question if the legislation, in fact, would be tough enough to rein in the industry and prevent future shocks to the economy as a result of bad gambling.
Link. I wonder if the authors realize how much damning-with-faint-praise they have set forth here.

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