US Senate passes Wall Street Reform Bill

US Senate passes Wall Street Reform Bill

Giving second major legislative victory to the US President Barack Obama, the US Senate has passed the sweeping Wall Street Reform Bill that would make the US financial institutions more accountable and prevent the repeat of market collapse as it happened in 2008.

The Senate passed the Wall Street Reform Bill by 60 to 39 votes yesterday. The House of Representatives had already passed the bill earlier this week. The bill now goes to the White House for Barack Obama to sign in into law. This will create new protections for millions of consumers.

The passage of the bill was immediately welcomed by the Obama Administration and lawmakers. "The financial reform legislation approved by the Congress represents a welcome and far-reaching step toward preventing a replay of the recent financial crisis," said Ben S Bernanke, Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.

"It strengthens the consolidated supervision of systemically important financial institutions, gives the government an important additional tool to safely wind down failing financial firms, creates an interagency council to detect and deter emerging threats to the financial system, and enhances the transparency of the Federal Reserve while preserving the political independence that is crucial to monetary policymaking," he said.

Terming the Bill as "strongest protection to the consumers and taxpayers they have ever had", Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said "we are giving Wall Street the strongest oversight it's ever had - not to stifle it, but to safeguard us. We are taking the shady markets that operate in the darkness and bringing them out into the daylight."

Senator Bernie Sanders, in a statement, called the overall legislation a "positive step forward" but said much more was to be done to end the greed and recklessness by the Wall Street financiers responsible for the worst economic collapse since the 1930s.

The senator faulted the legislation for not breaking up banks deemed "too big to fail". Incredibly, three of the four biggest banks in the country are larger today than they were before taxpayers bailed them out. Sanders  also wanted the bill to impose a cap on runaway credit card interest rates. Senators rejected an even more modest proposal to let states enforce their own usury laws.

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