Finance Bill: How Changes Could Affect You

June 27, 2010

The Wall Street Journal

The sweeping finance legislation negotiators wrapped up early Friday morning would constitute the biggest overhaul of U.S. financial regulations since the 1930s.

The legislation, broadly, is designed to close the regulatory gaps and end the speculative trading practices that contributed to the 2008 financial-market crisis.

Major components of the bill include:

Regulatory authority: Would give federal regulators authority to seize and break up large troubled financial firms without taxpayer bailouts in cases where the firm’s collapse could destabilize the financial system.

Financial stability council: Would establish a 10-member Financial Stability Oversight Council charged with monitoring and addressing system-wide risks to the nation’s financial stability.

Federal Reserve oversight: Would mandate a one-time audit of all of the Fed’s emergency lending programs from the financial crisis.

Consumer agency:Would create a new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau within the Fed, with rule-making and some enforcement power over banks and nonbanks that offer consumer financial products or services such as credit cards, mortgages and other loans. Auto dealers won a hard-fought exemption from the bureau’s reach.

Pre-emption: Would allow states to impose their own stricter consumer-protection laws on national banks. State attorneys general would have power to enforce certain rules issued by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

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