As his campaign against Prof. Elizabeth Warren picks up, Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) is trying to take credit for the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform law, saying in an ad last week that he provided the “tie-breaking vote” that got the law through the Senate. However, Brown’s ad neglects to mention that he demanded that the law be watered down in return for his vote.
Brown focused his efforts to weaken the law on the Volcker Rule, which is meant to prevent banks from engaging in risky trading with federally backed funds. And according to the Boston Globe, his efforts to weaken that rule did not end after President Obama signed Dodd-Frank into law:
In the second stage, as regulators began the less publicly scrutinized task of writing rules amid heavy pressure from the banking sector, Brown urged the regulators to interpret the 3 percent rule broadly and to offer banks some leeway to invest in hedge funds and private equity funds.
Supporters as well as critics of the banking industry agree that Brown’s suggestions would mean looser regulations for banks, though specialists disagree on the extent of the impact.
MIT professor and staunch reform advocate Simon Johnson said Brown’s prescriptions amount to “significant loosening of the regulations and [are] absolutely serving the interests of people who do not want to have meaningful reform.’’
While Brown was working to water down Dodd-Frank, he received 400 percent more in campaign donations from the financial industry than than the average received by other GOP senators during that period. And money from the financial sector hasn’t stopped pouring in. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, employees from the securities and investment industries have donated more to Brown than those of any other industry. JP Morgan Chase, which just lost billions of dollars engaging in risky trading, is one of his top ten donors.