Earlier today rumours emerged that the Volcker Rule was already DOA in the Senate, where skittish Democrats and insurgent Republicans looked set to deny Obama any kind of victory before November.
The FT is running the full report from DealReporter, the analyst firm that broke the story, and it includes this stunning revelation about Chris Dodd:
With the election of Republican Scott Brown to the Senate, the Democrats no longer have the necessary 60 votes to force through a Regulatory Reform package, and any bill will need at least some Republican support to pass. A Dodd staffer said the senator is likely to quietly drop or modify many of the recommendations in the Volcker rule to ensure Republican support for regulatory reform.
“Chris is retiring so he wants to end his career with an important regulatory reform bill and he wants to make the bill bipartisan,” the staffer said. “He is not going to risk bipartisan support to make the White House happy.”
This is ridiculous. There’s no reason Dodd should prefer some milquetoast bipartisan deal over a White House-led bill with teeth.
The best interpretation is that Dodd is doing a favour to his friends — friends who will find a way to load him up financially upon retirement.