Financial reform: What does it mean?
So this is what financial reform looks like.
Members of a House and Senate conference committee have ironed out their differences on what is almost certainly the biggest financial overhaul since the Great Depression. Word is lawmakers could have the package ready for President Obama's signature before the Fourth of July.
We've already heard of the CPA profession's role in altering the reforms (and for the better, I might add).
Now comes the inevitable wave of analyses, predictions and second-guesses. Let's take a look at just a few:
- CCH analyst Jim Hamilton takes a closer look at the reform package in this exhaustive blog post. CCH's Financial Reform News Center also offers details.
- CNNMoney summarizes various provisions of the bill.
- This Associated Press article takes a closer look at some of the consumer-related provisions in the reform package, including those centering on consumer protection, credit card debt, credit scores, mortgages and investor protection.
- E. Scott Reckard of the Los Angeles Times breaks down reactions to the reforms. In a nutshell, consumer advocates like it, big banks don't. Reuters offers a similar analysis here.
- Forbes.com's Jacob Zamansky argues exactly the opposite in "Financial reform: Wall Street wins, investors lose."
- There seem to be a lot of folks who believe the reform package doesn't change much of anything. You'll find just a few of these thought-provoking analyses here, here and here.
Me? It's hard to get around the dual notion that (a) ne're-do-wells will alwasy find ways around regulations to do their dirty work, and (b) the rest of us will be left to deal with the unintended consequences.
On the other hand, do those near-certainties mean lawmakers shouldn't do anything?
What do you think? Will the reforms have a positive or negative impact on our financial system? Or will it have no impact at all?
- UPDATE: Read the financial reform act in its entirety here.