Washington (CNNMoney.com) - Two key Democratic senators have hammered out a deal that would impose new rules on the complicated financial bets that fueled the mess of the past three years, a congressional aide said Monday.
Details on the deal between Agriculture panel chairwoman Sen. Blanche Lincoln, D-Ark., and Banking panel chief Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., were scarse. But one aide told CNN that the deal maintained a provision that Lincon's committee passed last week that would force banks to spin off their swaps desk, or the parts that deal in making such risky bets.
Last week, one Republican - Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa - joined Democrats in passing the bill, which could signal broader GOP support for the general regulatory overhaul effort in coming weeks.
Washington (CNNMoney.com) - With SEC charges against Goldman Sachs in the background, Democrats plan to start debating the Wall Street reform bill in the Senate this week, even as Republicans continue to say they oppose the bill.
"Our bill ends too big to fail, bailouts end forever," said Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., in a Monday press conference held to drum up momentum for the bill. "Our bill holds Wall Street accountable, mandates real transparency, so that large banks can't gamble our money in the shadows of the financial system."
But, in a letter to Senate Democrats on Friday, 41 Senate Republicans said they "are united" in opposing the current bill that passed the Banking Committee last month, according to a letter penned by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.
Washington (CNNMoney.com) - A key banking panel took only minutes Monday to approve a sweeping regulatory reform measure aimed at warding off future collapses in the financial system.
The Senate Banking Committee voted 13-10 in favor of the bill put forth by panel chairman Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., moving it to the full Senate just after Dodd gaveled the hearing to order at 5 p.m. ET.
Washington (CNNMoney.com) - A key banking panel was scheduled to begin consideration Monday of a draft bill of sweeping regulatory changes aimed at warding off future collapses in the financial system.
The bill put forth by Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., would create a new consumer regulator housed inside the Federal Reserve to ensure consumers get a fair shake with mortgages and credit cards. It would also push banks and financial firms to strengthen capital cushions and create a new process for taking down giant failing companies and preventing future Wall Street bailouts.
The Senate banking panel was scheduled to start meeting at 5 p.m. ET Monday and could pass the bill along party lines as early as this evening. They may move quickly, because the 10 Republicans on the 23-member panel won't offer any changes and plan to oppose the bill, said a source familiar with the negotiations.
Republican lawmakers have told Democrats that they are willing to work with Democrats and hammer out a bipartisan bill before it goes to the floor in coming months, Congressional aides say.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) - A year and a half after Lehman Brothers' collapse, Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd, D-Conn., is calling for a federal investigation into the "Lehman situation" and other companies that may have fudged their balance sheets, contributing to the financial crisis.
"We must work tirelessly to reduce the incidence of financial fraud in order to restore trust and confidence in the financial markets," Dodd wrote in a letter sent to Attorney General Eric Holder on Friday.
Washington (CNNMoney.com) - The head of a key banking panel on Monday released a draft bill of sweeping regulatory changes aimed at warding off future collapses in the financial system.
The bill put forth by Senate Banking Committee chairman Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., would create a new consumer regulator housed inside the Federal Reserve aimed at ensuring consumers get a fair shake with mortgages and credit cards. It will also push banks and financial firms to strengthen capital cushions and create a new process to take down giant failing companies and prevent future Wall Street bailouts.
The bill would also includes a version of the controversial rule proposed by former Fed chairman Paul Volcker and heralded by President Obama aimed at prohibiting financial firms from owning hedge funds or from proprietary trading on their own accounts.
"We must plug the gaps and elliminate the inefficiences that allowed this crisis to happen in the first place," Dodd said in a news conference.
Dodd wants to push the bill through his committee next week, to ensure it gets to the Senate floor before the summer, because midterm elections could complicate getting a final agreement. The House passed a version of regulatory reform in December.
Washington (CNNMoney.com) - A key Senate banking panel is poised to release and start working on its financial overhaul bill next week, despite a lack of consensus on some key issues.
Senate Banking Chairman Chris Dodd, D-Conn., said Thursday he planned to release a draft bill on Monday, even though a "few outstanding issues remain."
Dodd has been promising to release a draft bill for several weeks, but delayed it while trying to work with key Republicans on the panel. Regulatory overhaul cannot pass the full Senate without some Republicans on board.
The Dodd announcement may signal that the senator wants to get the process moving, with or without Republican support.
It was not specified by Dodd what the "outstanding issues" are. But one has been a proposed consumer financial protection agency and another has been how much regulatory power to strip away from the Federal Reserve.
Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama will meet with Democratic and Republican leaders at a much-publicized health care summit Thursday that many believe will be long on discourse but short on real bipartisan consensus.
Critics have said the nationally televised six-hour summit basically will amount to a public relations stunt.
"This is about theater," said Sen. John Cornyn, a Texas Republican. "This is not about substance, unfortunately."
White House spokesman Robert Gibbs rejected that assessment.
"It makes sense to have everybody in the same room," Gibbs said on CNN's "American Morning." "We're going to have a big table. We're going to listen to a lot of ideas."
But there didn't appear to be much mood Wednesday for compromise on Capitol Hill.
Washington (CNNMoney.com) - The fate of a consumer financial protection agency was thrown in doubt Friday, as the Senate Banking Committee chief said he planned to push a bill forward without Republican support.
Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., said on Friday that banking committee staff will draw up draft legislation on all regulatory reform to be voted on later this month - even though, "for now, we have reached an impasse" with the ranking Republican on that committee, Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala.
The sticking point is the consumer financial protection agency, which has long been considered the signature piece of the legislation offered by the Obama administration for redoing the regulatory system after the financial collapse.
Shelby said he supports consumer financial protection, but he's concerned about the financial health of companies. He wants the regulator who protects consumers to also consider financial firms' health, to strengthen "both consumer protection and safety and soundness regulation."
Washington (CNN) - A senior Democratic source involved in Chris Dodd's campaign tells CNN that Democratic party officials had become convinced that Dodd's Connecticut re-election race was "virtually unwinnable for us."
Still, while this source and others admit there have been quiet conversations among party officials for some time about Dodd stepping aside, they say it does not appear that party leaders specifically asked him to do so.
"People have too much respect for Chris Dodd to try to get him out of this race," said the source involved with his campaign. "He had to come to it on his own."
Another source close to Dodd tells CNN he had been well aware of his uphill battle for months. This source concedes that the political reality was a big part the reason he decided not to seek re-election, but insists "this isn't a decision forced upon him or by anyone. He was looking at his career, looking at his record of accomplishments over the past 35 years, asking what else is there."