Ok, this financial reform fight might drag on for a while.Tonight Harry Reid held a so-called test vote, or a procedural vote, to move forward with financial reform, but he was unable to get to the magic 60 mark that was required to avoid a filibuster.
Sen. Ben Nelson, the Senator from Nebraska who had tried to get a sweetheart provision placed into the bill on behalf of Berkshire Hathaway, ended up voting against the bill.
Apparently this was always kind of the plan, as FireDogLake notes, with the idea being that the GOP’s refusal to go along with the bill would make for some nice talking points.
And indeed, not long after the vote, our inbox started filling up with press releases from pro-reform types, slamming the banks for carrying Wall Street’s water, for whatever that’s worth.
So now we get more back-room debating, and a move towards a compromise.
Tonight’s bill did include the explosive amendment from Sen. Blanche Lincoln, which would seriously impair the banks ability to use derivatives.Without this amendment, the bill probably has a better shot, and as FT Alphaville reports GOP Sen. Judd Gregg produced a mystery document from some unnamed Fed staffers blasting this iteration of the bill. What’s interesting is that the staffers are unnamed, and this is not an official Fed policy position — just a paper reflecting, apparently, what people inside the Fed are thinking, which is that a rule which would deprive any derivatives player from emergency Fed lending is insane.
You can read the whole document for yourself here.
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