A few things:
1) Several things got watered up in the final moments of the financial reform bill, most notably the ratings agency rules concerning speech that was in the House but not in the Senate. Naked Capitalism has more. The Ratings Agencies are playing this as if it is out of left field, but removing the liability waiver (Rule 436(g)) from the “Nationally Recognized Statistical Rating Organizations” has always been a goal, and was in the House Bill that passed in December. The Ratings Agencies aren’t surprised about the existence of this – indeed they’ve milked this special protection the government gave them for decades – they are surprised that they couldn’t get it stripped out of the House suggestions and out of the final bills. Sorry NRSROs, the government is going to protect you from market forces less now. And good job to the Bill.
2) Funny that the financial reform bill is signed today, as today is the day that I turn 31. What a crazy year. Thanks to everyone who reads, comments, emails, tweets, links and otherwise engages with this blog. You all make it worthwhile, and I hope to keep up my end of the bargain throughout the next year. We have nominations and implementation and the future of financial reform and unemployment and maybe I can even get to some more serious work on inequality. It should be a fun time.
3) Also I’ll be at Netroots Nation tonight through Saturday. I’d love to meet any readers; shoot me a message, and come to the panel I’ll be on Thursday at 4:30pm:
Curbing Wall Street: The Next Stage
THURSDAY, JULY 22ND 4:30 PM – 5:45 PM
PANEL, BRASILIA 4
The financial reform bill was but a first step. It created a consumer financial protection bureau, but left the big banks more concentrated than ever, with the financial casino open for gambling. The bankers are getting million dollar bonuses, but foreclosures continue at record levels, small businesses can’t get loans, payday lenders are still gouging workers. We’ll explore next round of citizen protests, criminal prosecutions, and congressional policy reforms needed to make Wall Street once more the servant, not the master of the real economy.
The panel will be me, Robert L. Borosage, Gerald Taylor and Mary Bottari, all of whom have been fighting through this long battle. We’ll talk about the highlights of the past year for a short bit, but immediately start planning how to organize around the implementation of this bill, and further battles in the financial reform effort.
New Deal 2.0 (and my) editor Lynn Parramore is on a panel Think Tanks and Netroots: Best Practices for Working Together with Barry Kendall, Alan Rosenblatt, Bill Scher and Murshed Zaheed. I’m really fascinated by the power dynamic between the two, and hope to learn a bunch from this.
I’m also excited in the two panels from Make Markets Be Markets presenter and New Deal 2.0 contributor Elizabeth Warren. The first is Building a Progressive Economic Vision which looks fantastic. Also very important for stuff I write about here: The Forgotten Foreclosure Crisis, with Senator Merkley, David Dayen and Ryan Grim, four people who always go to the front of the google reader queue whenever they are involved.
Even better for these economic and financial panels: Netroots Nation is in Las Vegas, which is ground zero in the foreclosure economy. From Calculated Risk in May of this year:
70%! Does anyone know community groups that could show me around neighborhoods in Vegas that sit like ghost towns?
Hope to see you there!