Senate considers deregulation of banks

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Tensions are running high as the Dodd-Frank rollback bill, S. 2155, the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act, created to deregulate the banking industry is up for a Senate vote this week. Twelve Democratic senators are planning to vote for the bill, which means it can't be filibustered. Warren said that anyone who votes for the bill will put consumers at risk. Senior Democrats said it was an attempt to deregulate big banks that caused the 2008 crash, inviting similar disaster.

The Senate voted 67-32 in favor of starting debate on S. 2155, the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act, bipartisan legislation to grow the economy and protect consumers that was negotiated in part by Sen. Lawmakers are intent on easing those rules for midsize and large regional banks, asserting that would boost lending and the economy.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., says the regulatory burden of Dodd-Frank has forced small banks to hire additional workers to deal with compliance costs.

"The lobbyists speak loud here", she said. "The American people have not forgotten". As a result, many families lost their homes as well as their life savings when the stock market crashed.

"This bill is all about the big banks", she said, adding that the bill raises the risk of another financial meltdown.

A number of financial institutions "with less than $250 billion triggered the need for bailout assistance during the crisis and history has shown, time and again, that the failure of financial firms that are not among the largest megabanks can pose systemic threats to financial stability", Angelides told Crapo.

Pat Toomey, a Pennsylvania Republican who chairs a key banking subcommittee, touted the measure as "progress" toward providing relief from regulation for small credit unions and regional banks.

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Brown dismissed questions about the political divisions in his party and blasted his colleagues for supporting a bill that he said would make the banking system less safe.

There are another 6,000 or so actual community banks in the United States with assets less than $10 billion, according to Michael Barr, former assistant secretary for financial institutions with the U.S. Department of the Treasury and one of the architects of Dodd-Frank. Dodd-Frank promised to "end too big to fail" and "promote financial stability". "That's over one fourth of community banks are gone - and I think a primary reason for that is regulatory fatigue", said Lyn Hayth, President & CEO of the Bank of Botetourt.

Warren stressed that she's "going to keep pushing for changes in the legislation", adding that she has more than a dozen amendments she plans to offer to improve the bill.

Under the bill being debated by the Senate, banks would not have to factor in the deposits they hold at a central bank when calculating that ratio.

"This may be the single most risky provision in the bill and it applies only to the biggest Wall Street banks". "CBO estimates that the probability is small under current law and would be slightly greater under the legislation".

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., said during a Tuesday morning press briefing that the bill "increases the chances of another bailout" and vowed to "fight back" this week as the legislation is debated on the Senate floor.

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