Today, President Obama signed into law what the New York Times describes as:
... a sweeping expansion of federal financial regulation, marking another -- and perhaps last -- major legislative victory before the midterm elections in November, which could recast the Congressional landscape.
1. Lynnette Khalfani-Cox of Wallet Pop talks about everything from consumer complaints to whether mortages will get easier to obtain in 7 Ways Financial Reform Will Change Your Life. She ends with advice on what to expect in stores:
This holiday season or the next, when you're gift-shopping at your favorite retailer, don't be surprised if you're offered a discount for turning over a $20 bill, instead of your well-worn Visa card. That's because the financial reform bill allows merchants to give you a discount on your purchase, if you pay with cash, a check or a debit card – as opposed to a credit card.
What's more, the new law will allow retailers to impose a $10 minimum on credit card purchases, forcing consumers to stop using plastic for small purchases like that morning latte from Starbucks.
2. At Money Talks News, Stacy Johnson spells out What Financial Reform Means to You, saying the legislation will prevent another oil bubble:
The ability of big Wall Street Banks to trade huge, unregulated derivatives contracts hasn’t been eliminated by the new law, but it has been curtailed. Many of the trades that in the past have been hidden from regulatory scrutiny will now be forced onto exchanges, where transactions will be more transparent. The reform bill also directs the Commodity Futures Trading Commission to create new rules designed to limit speculation.
While this provision of the bill may seem the least relevant and most obscure to many on Main Street, this change could theoretically provide the biggest change to the lives of many Americans in everything from the price of food to the price of oil.
3. In the Washington Independent, Annie Lowrey, reports that Credit Ratings Agencies Stop Issuing New Ratings in Response to Dodd-Frank, adding:
Bloggers on Financial Reform Legislation and Politics
This is bad news if it is impacting the bond market, but should be easy enough for Congress or the ratings agencies’ regulator to fix. The bill instructs the government to study ratings agencies for two years before deciding how to re-regulate them. This change should be delayed until that point -- and regulators should work with ratings agencies to help them prepare new practices and therefore avoid seizing the markets when the new changes come into effect.
Still, this highlights a fault of the bill -- the tremendous uncertainty of it all.
4. Michelle Malkin, in Obama to Sign Dodd-Frank Monstrosity Today, is not a fan:
Farcical. Reckless. Cosmetic. Costly.
I better stop now before the adjectives turn into profanities. The idea of Barney Corrupt & Chris Countrywide Corrupter beaming on stage with the Chicago thug-in-chief as they all at themselves on the back for squandering our money and increasing their power is too much to bear this early in the morning.
5. Janet Murguia of the National Council for La Raza, in Standing Tall with 2,500 of Our Closest Friends on the Huffington Post, calls the law a win for the Latino community:
I just got back from the White House, where I watched President Obama sign the banking reform bill, and I reflected on what it means for all Americans, but especially what a significant victory it is for Hispanics and other minorities pursuing the American Dream.
6. Joanne Bamberger of Pundit Mom advocates for a leader for the agency the new law mandates in Why Is Barack Obama Afraid of Elizabeth Warren?
So as we are on the cusp of the president signing new financial regulation into law, I have to ask -- why does he seem to be dragging his feet on nominating Elizabeth Warren, the woman who almost single-handedly made all this monetary mumbo-jumbo understandable AND was our only real advocate in the Wall Street meltdown and our near-depression economic crisis, to head up the new Consumer Financial Protection Agency?
7. In Obama Will Sign Financial Reform Bill Today at Shakesville, Melissa McEwan says:
Yay. That might have an exclamation point at the end of it if Senate Democrats hadn't "made lots of deals, which watered down the bill. For example, Wall Street banks will get wiggle room to make limited risky bets, which is tougher than the current law, but weaker than earlier drafts."
Still. Compared to doing nothing, it's something. Huzzah.
What do you think of the passage of the financial reform bill? Do you expect it to affect your bottom line? Is it a victory for Democrats? A mistake? Something else?
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