House passes financial reform; Senate is on deck

The U.S. House of Representatives brought us one step closer to meaningful financial reform Wednesday when it voted (mostly on party lines, with only three Republicans supporting the bill) to pass the  conference report on the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. David Arkush, director of Public Citizen’s Congress Watch division, called it “a significant, initial victory for Main Street over Wall Street.” While there is still much more to do to rein in Wall Street’s reckless behavior, the financial reform bill offers a couple significant steps forward, Arkush said:

The two most notable are substantially stronger consumer financial protections and curbs on some of the worst practices in the derivatives markets.

The Senate is expected to vote on the conference report after the holiday break.  Chris Bowers at Open Left offers an in-depth analysis:

If the bill is defeated by pro-Wall Street forces over the next two weeks, the only parts which will be defeated are the victories, while all of its shortcomings will remain in place. If it is defeated, the 1999 financial deregulation package will remain the basic framework under which our financial system operates, and we all know how that worked out.