Watching the devolution of the bank reform bill in the U.S. Senate has been painful. Banking Chairman Chris Dodd’s original proposal unveiled last year had numerous strengths, most significantly the removal of bank supervisory authority from the Federal Reserve. Dodd decided that the Fed had done such a lousy job ignoring the housing bubble and failing to crack down on predatory lending in the mortgage market that it shouldn’t be given a second chance.
But a second chance for this unpopular and failed institution is currently in the works. In an effort to please Republicans and achieve a bipartisan bill, Dodd is not only going to let the Fed keep its bank supervision and rulemaking authority, he wants to give it authority over the proposed Consumer Financial Protection Agency (CFPA).