War And Pieces
Reports out of Washington have Dodd doing an about-face on the CFPA, with a new willingness to sacrifice its creation as a means of breaking the bipartisan bickering that repeatedly tripped up the efforts to pass anything that even vaguely resembled serious financial services reform. Should Dodd follow through and agree to scrap CFPA, it will be an astonishing turn of events. Even if the proposed agency stays in the legislation, the fact that Dodd would even consider dropping CFPA is a huge victory for the financial services industry, which lobbied furiously against its creation. For an industry that appeared to have little lobbying muscle at this time last year, it more than proved itself capable of standing up for what it believed in. Likewise, it is a victory for Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and the heads of the various regulatory agencies that opposed the concept of a CFPA - albeit for turf war concerns rather than perceived inadequacies in the proposal.