Larry Lindsey on Dodd-Frank Financial 'Reform'
Former Federal Reserve governor and George W. Bush economic aide Larry Lindsey, now president and CEO of The Lindsey Group, an economic advisory firm based in Washington, D.C., writes up his views on financial "reform" legislation in a lively piece for the Bowdoin Daily Sun:
To make it work, the committee had to come up with $19 billion to pay for some of the "special provisions" in the bill. There weren't any tax experts around on the committee, so they had decided to give a group of unelected officials the power to set both the size of the tax base and the rate that would be applied on a taxpayer-by-taxpayer basis to a target group of financial service companies. Not since the Sheriff of Nottingham has a tax collector had such discretion on who to tax and how much.
Needless to say, when it was discovered this caused such a ruckus that the bill would have failed. So the conferees got back together and changed that provision. Trouble was, in the intervening 24-hours, lots of other provisions with serious problems cropped up. The most notorious was the provision dealing with derivatives. It was so bad that even the author of the provision, Senator Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas, announced that she could not sign off on the bill. But pulling the bill at this stage would have proved too embarrassing, so Senator Dodd and Congressmen Frank announced that they would have to begin work on a "corrections" bill as soon as the bill that they had just finished was passed. Note this is not a "technical corrections" bill which Congress uses a lot because a few words here or there are wrong—there are so many errors in this bill that the changes cease being "technical."...everyone who has taken a serious look at the bill agrees that it will mean that the current contraction in bank credit is likely to continue a bit longer....
the bill creates a super-regulatory agency that is not subject to any oversight by either the authorizing or appropriating committees of Congress. The agency is instructed to collect data on every transaction done by every customer—including ATM withdrawals—match that with racial and ethnic data to do a racial and ethnic profiling of all the bank customers in the country! This is such an extreme idea one can't make it up.The 2,315 pages contain literally dozens of these types of provisions.
Thanks to reader-participant-community member-watchdog-content co-creator F. for sending the link.
by Ira Stoll | Jul 7, 2010 at 12:22 pm
Related Topics: Banking, Capital Markets Regulation, Taxes
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