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Dodd-Frank "finance reform" bill passes Senate: a "Christmas tree" for the progressive agenda

Yesterday the Senate invoked cloture with a 60-39 final vote, and passed the Dodd-Frank bill, which was sold to the public as a set of common sense reforms designed prevent a repeat of the 2008 US financial market collapse, but which morphed into a 2,400 page monstrosity that gives tremendous authority to new and existing Federal agencies, enabling the Federal government to greatly expand its regulation of the financial operations of most major businesses.

The major flaws in the bill have been discussed here previously. The Obama Administration seems to have an affinity for creating new regulatory and administrative agencies with appointed (as opposed to nominated and confirmed) directors, as well as loading bills with numerous provisions that have little or nothing to do with the stated purpose of the bill. Dodd-Frank is certainly no exception.

The Washington Times quotes Alabama Republican Senator Richard Shelby:

"During our negotiations on the consumer bureaucracy, my Democrat friends were not focused on the mortgage market. Their sights were set on the rest of the economy," he said. "The new bureaucracy is an enormous reach across virtually every segment of our economy, and a massive expansion of government influence in our daily financial lives."

The Times continues:

The bill would create more than 20 "offices of minority and women inclusion" at the Treasury, Federal Reserve and other government agencies, to ensure they employ more women and minorities and grant more federal contracts to more women- and minority-owned businesses.

... Sen. Bob Corker, a Tennessee Republican who also sought to help write a bipartisan Senate bill more narrowly focused on the problems that led to the crisis, said he fears that an activist director of the consumer agency could use agency power to direct loans to favored constituencies, regardless of whether the loans are sound or pose risks to the banking system.

"This may sound a little far-fetched, but you can have the wrong person in this position - there's no board, there's really no check and balance - that you can imagine could use this organization to try to create social justice in the financial system," he said.

Like the corporate boardroom provisions, many of the activities within the reach of the new consumer agency had "absolutely nothing - zero - to do with the financial crisis," Mr. Corker said. "But this has become a Christmas tree for those kinds of things, because people realize it's something that's going to pass."

The Dodd-Frank bill burdens any business -- not just investment, banking, or lending institutions -- with a myriad of new regulations if it engages in activities that are "financial in nature," a broadly defined term that includes everything from owning or leasing real estate, to investing cash reserves, to purchasing derivatives contracts for market commodities it consumes (like fuel), to receiving and holding downpayments from customers, to providing retirement options for employees.

As with the health overhaul bill, many of the specific provisions in the Dodd-Frank bill remain unwritten, and will have to be worked out by the administrators and directors of the new and existing Federal agencies tasked with implementing the bill. Of course this will add yet another layer of uncertainty on top of the mountainous aggregation of unknown taxes, fees, and regulations that businesses are already facing, thanks to the Obama Administration's lust for regulatory power.

One thing we can be sure of, though, is that the Law of Unintended Consequences will win out in the end. We can only pray that those consequences do not fatally cripple our economy.


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Comments (16)

The next time a Republican ... (Below threshold)

The next time a Republican is in office with a Republican Congress they're going to have to do for real what liberals are always falsely accusing them of doing...deregulate.

A lot.

"This may sound a little fa... (Below threshold)

"This may sound a little far-fetched, ...."

I am not sure I would feel comfortable with any Republican who stiil believes this about the Obama administration.

"We can only pray that t... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

"We can only pray that those consequences do not fatally cripple our economy"

They most certainly will. That this bill will cripple our economy is not an "unintended consequence" it's the whole purpose of the bill.

Why don't we just write 'em... (Below threshold)

Why don't we just write 'em a big blank check, and ask them to kick us in the economic gonads?

Oh, wait... we already did that.

Well, let's do it AGAIN! I'm sure things will go better THIS time!

"We can only pray that thos... (Below threshold)

"We can only pray that those consequences do not fatally cripple our economy."

When unelected 'do-gooders' are in charge of writing 'regulations'....you can bet that's exactly what will happen.

And the pie-eyed liberals will be standing around this time next year wondering why the economy hasn't rebounded.

Now the REALLY FUNNY part is the picture of Frank and Dodd congratulating everyone on the 'reform'. The two biggest culprits in the original damage to the economy. I'm sure Barney is ready to 'roll the dice' one more time.

Bwanie Fwank, when asked to... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

Bwanie Fwank, when asked to comment on this historic Marxist takeover of another major segement of American economy said: "Well the pubwic might not wike it, but I'wl tewl them the same thing I tewl my boyfwiend: 'You're just gonna have to bend over and take it.'"

Can we all take back our ap... (Below threshold)

Can we all take back our appreciation for MA now? After all, what has Scott Brown done for those that elected him and the rest of us by extension? He never voted on ObamaCare, the Democrats just avoided going back to the Senate - so he didn't do anything for us there. He voted for another stimulus waste. And now he's voted, despite his protestations about what's in the bill, for a massive new intrusion into the financial sector that is likely to dwarf the expense and drag of Sabanes/Oxley that authorizes the government to obtain any of our financial records for any reason whatsoever whenever they want and, oh by the way, does nothing to prevent the housing-inspired meltdown of 2008.

In other words...he's done nothing for MA or America that Ted Kennedy wouldn't have done...except maybe Teddy would've missed some of the votes instead of showing up and voting for them.

Don't stand for anyone talking about GOP 'obstruction' or 'filibusters' in the Senate...the left still has a 60 vote majority there, even when they don't get the ME dipsticks voting with them.

Thank you Olympia "Stupid S... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Thank you Olympia "Stupid Snowe"

Dodd & FrankThis i... (Below threshold)

Dodd & Frank

This is justification for retroactive abortion's.

I want to know when Mitch M... (Below threshold)

I want to know when Mitch McConnell will finally grow a set of balls. I'm tired of the nitwit twins rolling over to the dems all in the name of being liked. And Scott Brown? You are worse than Fat Teddy. At least he didn't claim to be something other than a drunken, guilt-ridden, gutless slob-of-privilege.

This bill is a DISASTER. Thanks for your leadership McConnell. I guess it's more important to be collegial than look out for the people's interest.

I can't wait for the minions of Sheila Jackson Lee to be seated on the Board of HP, or PACCAR, or US Steel. Maybe they'd push for equal trade with BOTH North and South Vietnam....sigh

"specific provisions.... (Below threshold)
John S:

"specific provisions... remain unwritten, and will have to be worked out by the administrators and directors of the new and existing Federal agencies..."

That's the beauty of all these Democratic bills. These new provisions will be tied up in rulemakings for years and in the courts for decades after that. And the next government can zero out the budget of all these new agencies and fire everyone working there. I'd love to see a $400 hour administrator sign up for $267 week unemployment.

"We can only pray... (Below threshold)

"We can only pray that those consequences do not fatally cripple our economy."

Whomever voted this extreme marxist in need's to pay us all back in spade's!!

Dont say it.

jim x, if you had any balls... (Below threshold)

jim x, if you had any balls you's back up the neg with a comment. Since you cannot refute the indisputable evidence of Barak being a failure at capitalism while excelling at marxism just vote neg and hide in the shadow's.

You are too kind when you s... (Below threshold)

You are too kind when you say "unintended" consequences.The consequences were carefully designed to expand govt. power to be used to extort campaign contributions from the regulated subjects.Every bureaucrat is a reliable democrat voter to institutionalize corruption.

ODA315 - "I can't wai... (Below threshold)

ODA315 - "I can't wait for the minions of Sheila Jackson Lee to be seated on the Board of HP, or PACCAR, or US Steel. Maybe they'd push for equal trade with BOTH North and South Vietnam....sigh"

That stupid wench would call them all racists, fire them, and install members of the new black panther party as board members.

That old soviet politburo s... (Below threshold)
rich K:

That old soviet politburo sure didnt have a clue did they.The smart money is to infiltrate a mainly capitalist economy and over time turn it into what we have now. A system for crony capitalists and thugs in the beauracracy.
And the poor shlub small and medium business guy gets to slave as the poor peasents of the steppes did for what little they can to survive. Brilliant!






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