Washington just got a little more welcome for Wall Street. The retirement of Christopher Dodd, the Democrat from Connecticut, probably hands the chairmanship of the Senate Banking Committee to a friend of the industry in 2011. It also improves the odds of a weaker version of financial reform passing Congress in 2010 — if anything passes at all.
This is one of my favorite parts of the consumer protection bill:
The Agency shall have no authority under this section to declare an act or practice in connection with a transaction with a consumer for a consumer financial product or service to be unlawful on the grounds that such act or practice is unfair unless the Agency has a reasonable basis to conclude that the act or practice causes or is likely to cause substantial injury to consumers which is not reasonably avoidable by consumers and such substantial injury is not outweighed by countervailing benefits to consumers or to competition. In determining whether an act or practice is unfair, the Agency may consider established public policies as evidence to be considered with all other evidence.