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May 8, 2010

Amendment could curb rating agencies’ power

WASHINGTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) – The Big Three credit rating agencies looked set to survive Washington’s push for financial reform with only minor damage, until Democratic Senator Al Franken came along.

In a series of speeches this week, Franken — a former comic actor and writer for the popular TV show Saturday Night Live — has won bipartisan support for a proposal to reshape the credit rating agency industry.

May 7, 2010

Stock shock roils Congress amid Wall Street debate

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Shock waves from the stock market plunge rippled through Washington on Friday, prompting lawmakers to call for an amendment to a Wall Street reform bill that could lead to safeguards against technology glitches.

Senators Ted Kaufman and Mark Warner, both Democrats, want market regulators to report on Thursday’s dizzying decline and say whether new circuit breakers are needed for computer-driven trading, according to a copy of a letter obtained by Reuters.

May 7, 2010

U.S. amendment could curb rating agencies’ power

WASHINGTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) – The Big Three U.S. credit rating agencies looked set to survive Washington’s push for financial reform with only minor damage, until Democratic Senator Al Franken came along.

In a series of speeches this week, Franken — a former comic actor and writer for the popular TV show Saturday Night Live — has won bipartisan support for a proposal to reshape the credit rating agency industry.

May 7, 2010

Senate thwarts GOP attack on consumer watchdog

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Senate on Thursday rejected a Republican attempt to defang consumer protections in a sweeping Wall Street reform bill, while voting to give small banks a break on deposit insurance.

Despite procedural delays, lawmakers covered some ground on a top priority of the Obama administration that would be the biggest overhaul of the financial rulebook since the 1930s.

May 6, 2010

Fed faces fight in US Senate’s bank reform debate

WASHINGTON, May 6 (Reuters) – The Federal Reserve’s
cherished secrecy will be challenged in the U.S. Senate on
Thursday in the debate over Wall Street reform, with a running
battle over consumer protection also being rejoined.

The Senate started its second day of votes on a Democratic
reform bill by approving an amendment that would result in
large banks paying more for deposit insurance, while smaller
banks would pay less to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

May 6, 2010

Senator revives credit card fee reform

WASHINGTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) – The No. 2 Democrat in the U.S. Senate said on Wednesday he will push to amend a massive Wall Street reform bill with a measure addressing credit card fees affecting retailers.

So-called “interchange” fees are charged to supermarkets, convenience stores and other merchants by credit card lenders every time a customer uses a credit card. Fees totaled $48 billion in 2008, up from $42 billion in 2007.

May 6, 2010

Senate backs plan attacking “too big to fail”

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Senate made progress on a financial regulation reform bill on Wednesday, approving two amendments aimed at preventing a repeat of the massive taxpayer bailouts of Wall Street in 2008.

By overwhelming votes, the amendments were added to a broader reform bill, along with two other non-controversial measures, but more troublesome issues loomed ahead dealing with consumer protection and regulation of derivatives markets.

May 5, 2010

U.S. Senate backs plan attacking ‘too big to fail’

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Senate made progress on a financial regulation reform bill on Wednesday, approving two amendments aimed at preventing a repeat of the massive taxpayer bailouts of Wall Street in 2008.

By overwhelming votes, the amendments were added to a broader reform bill, along with two other non-controversial measures, but more troublesome issues loomed ahead dealing with consumer protection and regulation of derivatives markets.

May 5, 2010

Senator seeks credit card fee plan in bank bill

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The No. 2 Democrat in the U.S. Senate said on Wednesday he will push to amend a massive Wall Street reform bill with a measure addressing credit card fees affecting retailers.

So-called “interchange” fees are charged to supermarkets, convenience stores and other merchants by firms such as Visa and MasterCard every time a customer uses a credit card. Fees totaled $48 billion in 2008, up from $42 billion in 2007.

May 5, 2010

Votes set in US Senate as Wall St reform advances

WASHINGTON, May 5 (Reuters) – Democrats fought to push
their Wall Street reform forward in the U.S. Senate on
Wednesday, slating more votes despite stubborn Republican
resistance on a bill that is expected to pass within weeks.

The chief negotiators for both parties agreed on Tuesday on
a new government protocol for dismantling large financial firms
in distress. The plan is an effort to avoid more crises like
the 2008 bailout of mega-insurer AIG <AIG.N> and the collapse
of former Wall Street giant Lehman Brothers <LEHMQ.PK>.