Wall Street Rolls Merrily Along

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Felix Salmon writes something peculiar today. He’s not too keen on the JOBS Act, a bill designed to loosen securities regulations on small businesses, and yet it’s gotten wide bipartisan support anyway:

I don’t fully understand the political dynamics here. A bill which was essentially drafted by a small group of bankers and financiers has managed to get itself widespread bipartisan support, even as it rolls back decades of investor protections. That wouldn’t have been possible a couple of years ago, and I’m unclear what has changed.

Felix! What’s unclear here? Dodd-Frank is the exception, not the rule, and even Dodd-Frank’s very modest rules are currently in the process of being eviscerated by human waves of Wall Street attorneys. Besides, a bill like the JOBS Act would have been eminently possible two years ago. In fact, in April 2009, a mere few months after the Great Meltdown, big banks successfully gutted a “cramdown” bill that would have allowed bankruptcy judges to reduce the principal owed on mortgages. And not only did they gut it, but they even got Congress to hand over billions in new bailout money at the same time. I guess they figured they were owed something for all the time and money they’d spent lobbying.

Long story short, nothing has changed. And that’s the problem.

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