Financial Regulatory Forum

ANALYSIS – Obama tackles Wall Street reform in next big push

By Caren Bohan

WASHINGTON, March 25 (Reuters) – Fresh from his victory on landmark healthcare legislation, U.S. President Barack Obama is ready to take on Wall Street.

In the same week Obama signed into law his sweeping healthcare plan, his administration began a publicity blitz to sell his proposal to reshape the financial regulatory system.

Obama held a strategy session on Wednesday with two Democrats, Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd and House of Representatives Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank, who are leading the effort to pass the plan in Congress.

Democrats hope the healthcare win will lend momentum to the push on financial reform, an issue the White House hopes will be a political winner as the party seeks to stave off potential losses in the November congressional elections.

“The good news is that, whereas the Republican message machine managed to convince a lot of Americans that the healthcare bill was bad for them, I think they will have a harder time with the financial reform,” said Princeton University professor Alan Blinder. “Rightly or wrongly everybody hates Wall Street and the banks right now.”

SCENARIOS-How U.S. financial regulation fight might play out

March 23 (Reuters) – The financial regulation debate has a long way to go in the U.S. Congress, with the action shifting to the full Senate and big headlines unlikely until April.

The Senate Banking Committee approved a sweeping Democratic bill by a party-line vote on Monday. That bill is now headed for the Senate floor, but not before lawmakers try again to hash out a bipartisan deal in closed-door negotiations.

With Congress adjourning on Friday for a two-week holiday break, the off-line financial reform talks probably will not produce results before lawmakers return next month.

BREAKINGVIEWS-U.S. financial reform process takes risky turn

– The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own –

By James Pethokoukis

WASHINGTON, March 23 (Reuters Breakingviews) – The effort to reform the U.S. financial regulatory system was supposed to show the Senate working more or less as intended — bipartisan up to a point, and largely non-confrontational. But it’s starting to follow the healthcare bill’s more contentious path.

Hundreds of Republican and Democratic amendments to the legislation authored by Democrat Chris Dodd, the panel’s chairman, were supposed to be hashed out by the relatively expert Senate Banking Committee this week. Instead, Republicans yanked their proposed changes, and the bill was approved with just Democratic support. Now it will be hashed out on the Senate floor. Democrats will need to bring at least one Republican across the aisle to hit the 60 votes needed to be certain of passage.

ANALYSIS – Democrats bet politics favor US financial reforms

By Kevin Drawbaugh

WASHINGTON, Feb 18 (Reuters) – The next round of betting is near in a high-stakes game to tighten U.S. financial regulation and Democrats are wagering heavily on a hunch — that some Republicans cannot afford politically to block reform.

The view is strongly held at the White House, where officials remain confident, despite setbacks, that reforms will be approved by Congress this year, said congressional aides.

President Barack Obama and the Democrats need a boost as they head into November’s midterm congressional elections after disappointing outcomes on healthcare and climate change,

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