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Senate banking chair introduces wide-ranging financial reform legislation

[JURIST] US Senate Banking Committee [official website] chair Chris Dodd (D-CT) [official website] introduced Tuesday wide-ranging financial regulatory legislation [draft text, PDF; summary, PDF] designed to limit systemic risk to the country's economy. If passed, the bill would introduce a single federal bank regulator, create a consumer financial protection agency, and attempt to close certain regulatory loopholes. Dodd announced [press release] the bill, saying that it was necessary for the country's long-term financial stability:

This proposal will create a new architecture to make our financial institutions more transparent, more responsible, and more accountable to the American people. It will address the problems of the past, and look forward to the needs of the future. ... For decades, Washington has failed to deliver the substantial reform we need. If we fail again this time, our economy will be vulnerable to another crisis.

Chair of the House Financial Services Committee [official website] Barney Frank (D-MA) [official website] confirmed [press release] Tuesday that the House of Representatives would likely consider a similar bill. Opposition to the measure is expected [NYT report] from Republicans as well as conservative Democrats.

Federal bank regulators defended [JURIST report] their efforts to limit financial risk, in front of the House Financial Services Committee in September. In July, US financial regulators and scholars advised [JURIST report] the Senate Banking Committee that "safety and soundness" can be restored to the financial system through increased regulatory oversight. Earlier this year, Chicago Board Options Exchange [corporate website] CEO William Brodsky called for [JURIST report] the merger of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) [official websites], a plan which former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, Jr. unveiled [JURIST report] last year.

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