Photo by Muffet (CC BY 2.0)

Just hours into the 114th Congress, House Republicans tried to pass a melange of 11 bills from the previous body that was meant to weaken regulation of banks and the financial industry.

With a vote of 276 to 146, House Democrats didn’t support the package in sufficient numbers to make it into law.

The Guardian describes what the legislation contained:

The most noteworthy of these bills would further delay key sections of the Volcker rule for two years. Right now, the Volcker Rule is the closest thing to the old, lamented Glass-Steagall law that forbade banks to take bets with customer savings deposits. The Volcker rule is a ban on Wall Street banks’ risky trading when they do it for for their own profits instead of for clients. The Frankenbill would look to keep Volcker hibernating for another two years. Under the legislation, banks would not have to sell off billions in collateralized loan obligations – typically packages of corporate debt – until 2019.

But the bill also benefited a variety of other financial players and corporations by exempting them from publicly reporting key pieces of financial data. One part removes the rule requiring companies to post collateral for their derivatives trades. Another exempts merger and acquisition brokers from registering with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Other pieces grant similar exemptions to savings and loans, so-called “emerging growth companies”, and investment advisers for small businesses.

Yet another measure stops private corporations from having to disclose information about company stock plans to its own employees. And a final one dispenses with the subtlety and simply forces the SEC to eliminate a number of regulations, to “reduce the burden” on smaller corporations.

You get the idea. The clear intent is to limit the reporting companies must make to regulators.

Read more here.

— Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.


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