Binyamin Applebaum notes that with the fury of financial regulation overhaul lobbying now complete in Congress, it’s time for everyone to refight many of the same battles again as regulators begin to draft more specific rules:
preparing for the next battle: influencing the creation of several hundred new rules and regulations.
The bill, completed early Friday and expected to come up for a final vote this week, is basically a 2,000-page missive to federal agencies, instructing regulators to address subjects ranging from derivatives trading to document retention. But it is notably short on specifics, giving regulators significant power to determine its impact — and giving partisans on both sides a second chance to influence the outcome.
To some of its critics, the Obama administration is full of socialists. To other critics, it’s full of patsies for Wall Street. But in terms of its approach to financial regulation, what’s really striking about the team’s approach is the degree to which it reflects the views of bank regulators who believe that given the appropriate tools they have it within their power to prevent these disasters. Consequently, a lot of the action to determine whether this thing works will end up playing out among the regulatory agencies as they start filling out the details.