Comment: Partisanship Imperils Financial Reform

By Petrou, Karen Shaw | American Banker, August 20, 1999 | Go to article overview

Comment: Partisanship Imperils Financial Reform


Petrou, Karen Shaw, American Banker


It took Congress more than a month after the House passed HR 10 to organize itself -- if that's the word -- for the conference committee deliberations on financial modernization.

An initial meeting took place Aug. 3 at which the 62 conferees dealt with the tough questions: where will all the members sit, whose paper will be the basis for discussion, and similar matters.

It may take a while before this conference holds a roll call vote on when to return from a lunch break, as was required in a memorable banking conference a few years ago. Still, hopes for a speedy conclusion are slim, given the unwieldy number of conferees and the complexity of the process.

Process is perhaps the first of the financial modernization bill's problems. S 900 -- as the legislation is now numbered -- also faces policy and political problems. Though bills confronting similarly stiff odds have surmounted them in the past, optimism about this one must be tempered by careful consideration of the hurdles it must clear on its way into the legal code.

When the 62 conferees finally agree on the shape of their table, they will sit down to hammer out an agreement on legislation that weighs in at 400 or so pages. Though the House and Senate bills are about the same length, they differ dramatically on issues big and small.

The hard bargaining on relatively minor provisions will generally be left to staff members, though individual legislators will certainly work on issues of particular personal, political, or constituent interest. The biggest differences between the two bills will, however, have to be handled by the conference itself.

First, who is in charge?

Financial modernization legislation did not fail in the past because Congresses were too idle to get around to passing it. The issues involved are genuinely intractable, raising tough problems of structure and control over the reformed industry.

If earlier Congresses could have settled the dispute between the Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve over whether new activities should be in operating subsidiaries or holding company affiliates, they would have. The current Congress has come closest to an accord because the Treasury has compromised its position more than ever before. The Fed and the Treasury are still far apart, however, on what structure financial holding companies should take. The conference lineup seems sure to favor the Fed, setting the stage either for capitulation by the Treasury or a veto by President Clinton.

Last year Sen. Phil Gramm, now Senate Banking's chairman, threw himself bodily before a financial modernization bill that then seemed to have good prospects for passage. At the time he unequivocally stated his strong opposition to language requiring financial holding company bank affiliates to have "satisfactory" or better Community Reinvestment Act ratings or face divestiture.

That same language is in this year's House bill, and Sen. Gramm remains as opposed to it as ever. He has also added several other CRA-related provisos to S 900, including a small-bank exception, that are anathema to CRA fans. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Comment: Partisanship Imperils Financial Reform
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.