A bill that was passed yesterday by a vote 223-202. Every Republican and about 2 dozen Democrats voted against it. Introduced by Barney Frank, its title is: To provide for financial regulatory reform, to protect consumers and investors, to enhance Federal understanding of insurance issues, to regulate the over-the-counter derivatives markets, and for other purposes.
The summary of the bill itself needs a summary. The bill probably has not been read in its entirety by Barney Frank. He’s got legislative aides for that sort of thing. It is being hailed as a great something or other for purpose of something or other. Here is the summary:
The Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2009 – Financial Stability Improvement Act of 2009 – Directs the Comptroller General to audit and report to Congress on all actions taken by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (Federal Reserve Board) and the Federal Reserve Banks during the current economic crisis pursuant to specified authority granted under the Federal Reserve Act.
Establishes a Financial Services Oversight Council, consisting of the heads of specified federal financial regulatory bodies and chaired by the Secretary of the Treasury, to: (1) resolve a dispute among two or more federal financial regulatory agencies in specified circumstances; (2) subject a financial company to stricter prudential standards; and (3) require a financial holding company to undertake one or more mitigatory actions to address any grave threat its activities pose to the financial stability or economy of the United States.
Directs the Federal Reserve Board to impose stricter prudential standards on a financial holding company in certain circumstances.
Authorizes the Council to subject a financial activity or practice to stricter prudential standards for financial stability purposes.
Amends the Home Owners’ Loan Act to establish a Division of Thrift Supervision within the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. Abolishes the Office of Thrift Supervision, and transfers its functions and personnel to the Division.
Amends the Revised Statutes of the United States to direct the Secretary to appoint up to five Deputy Comptrollers of the Currency, including a Senior Deputy Comptroller for National Banks and a Senior Deputy Comptroller for Thrift Supervision.
Amends the Federal Deposit Insurance Act (FDIA) to place the Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board on the Board of Directors of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) in lieu of the Director of the Office of Thrift Supervision.
Amends the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956 to prescribe requirements for the treatment of industrial loan companies, savings associations, special purpose holding companies, and certain other companies.
Prohibits certain conversions of troubled banks and thrifts.
Amends the FDIA to revise requirements for calculating a depository institution’s assessment.
Credit Risk Retention Act of 2009 – Amends the Securities Act of 1933 to direct the appropriate federal financial regulatory agencies to prescribe regulations to require any creditor to retain an economic interest in a material portion of the credit risk of any loan the creditor transfers, sells, or conveys to a third party, including for the purpose of including such loan in a pool of loans backing an issuance of asset-backed securities.
Dissolution Authority for Large, Interconnected Financial Companies Act of 2009 – Prescribes a procedure under which the Secretary shall appoint the FDIC as receiver for one year to resolve, liquidate, or take other specified emergency stabilization actions with respect to a financial company whose imminent or actual default would have serious adverse effects on financial stability or economic conditions in the United States.
Requires the FDIC Inspector General, if the Secretary appoints the FDIC as receiver for a financial company, to establish an Office of Resolution to audit and investigate the activities of the FDIC in its capacity as receiver for that company.
Amends the Federal Reserve Act to prescribe requirements for financial crisis management actions by the Federal Reserve Board in the event of a liquidity event that could destabilize the U.S. financial system.
Establishes a Council of Inspectors General on Financial Oversight.
Amends the International Banking Act of 1978 to authorize the Federal Reserve Board to terminate the activities of the U.S. branch, agency, or subsidiary of a foreign bank that presents a systemic risk to the United States.
Corporate and Financial Institution Compensation Fairness Act of 2009 – Amends the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 to require a separate, non-binding shareholder vote to approve the compensation, including golden parachute compensation, of corporate and financial institution executives. Requires each member of the compensation committee of the board of directors of an issuer of securities to be independent.
Over-the-Counter Derivatives Markets Act of 2009 – Amends the Commodity Exchange Act to require joint regulation of swap markets by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Requires swap repositories, swap dealers, major swap participants, and swap execution facilities to register with the CFTC.
Repeals the exemption from CFTC regulation of derivatives transaction execution facilities and boards of trade.
Revises requirements for foreign boards of trade.
Authorizes the CFTC and the SEC to ban: (1) abusive swaps; and (2) access to the U.S. financial system of any entity domiciled in a foreign country whose regulation of swaps or security-based swaps markets in that country undermines the stability of the U.S. financial system.
Amends the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 to repeal the prohibition on regulation of security-based swaps and applies specified requirements to such swaps.
Consumer Financial Protection Agency Act of 2009 – Establishes the Consumer Financial Protection Agency (CFPA) as an independent agency to regulate the provision of consumer financial products or services.
Prescribes related requirements for examination and enforcement for small insured depository institutions (with total assets of $10 billion or less) by the FDIC and credit unions (with total assets of $1.5 billion or less) by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA).
Directs the CFPA to develop risk-based programs to supervise nondepository covered persons.
Authorizes the CFPA to take actions to prohibit unfair, deceptive, or abusive acts or practices in connection with any transaction with a consumer for, or any offering of, a consumer financial product or service.
Specifies prohibited acts.
Requires the CFPA Director to lead a Negotiated Rulemaking Committee to promulgate appraisal independence requirements for residential loan purposes.
Specifies the preservation of the civil enforcement powers of state attorneys general.
Prescribes standards for federal preemption of state law regarding national banks and subsidiaries and federal savings associations.
Specifies CFPA enforcement powers.
Transfers to the CFPA the consumer financial protection functions of the Federal Reserve Board, the Comptroller of the Currency, the Office of Thrift Supervision, the FDIC, the Federal Trade Commission, the NCUA, and the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
Prescribes requirements for the collection and use by the CFPA of deposit account and small business data.
Requires the CFPA Director to conduct an annual financial autopsy regarding bankruptcies and foreclosures, including any specific financial products or services that have caused substantial numbers of them.
Private Fund Investment Advisers Registration Act of 2009 – Amends the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 to require private fund investment advisers to register with the SEC and maintain records and make reports on systemic risk data. Exempts venture capital fund advisers from the registration requirements. Directs the SEC to exempt from registration requirements any investment adviser of a private fund with assets under management in the United States of less than $150 million.
Accountability and Transparency in Rating Agencies Act of 2009 – Amends the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 to revise requirements for regulation of nationally recognized statistical rating organizations (NRSROs). Requires the SEC to examine NRSRO credit ratings to review whether an NRSRO has established a system of internal controls and adhered to it.
Directs the SEC to: (1) establish an office to administer SEC rules with respect to NRSRO practices; and (2) eliminate the exemption of NRSROs from the Fair Disclosure Rule.
Directs the SEC to establish a Credit Ratings Agency Advisory Board.
Investor Protection Act of 2009 – Amends the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 to establish an Investor Advisory Committee to the SEC. Authorizes the SEC to engage in consumer testing.
Amends the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 to direct the SEC to promulgate rules to prescribe a fiduciary standard of conduct for a broker or dealer when providing personalized investment advice about securities to a retail customer.
Authorizes the SEC to prohibit or limit agreements that require customers or clients of any broker, dealer, or municipal securities dealer to engage in pre-dispute arbitration.
Establishes within the SEC a Capital Markets Safety Board.
Directs the SEC to report to specified congressional committees on the implementation of SEC reforms in the wake of the discovery of fraud by Bernie Madoff.
Authorizes the SEC and the CFTC to form and operate a joint advisory committee.
Prescribes or revises prohibitions and requirements relating to: (1) securities lending; (2) lost and stolen securities; and (3) fingerprinting of personnel of registered securities information processors, national securities exchanges, and national securities associations.
Declares that any condition, stipulation, or provision binding any person to waive compliance with any rule of a self-regulatory organization shall be void.
Directs the Comptroller General to study and report to Congress on the SEC revolving door.
Establishes a Financial Reporting Forum to discuss immediate and long-term issues critical to financial reporting.
Directs the SEC Chairman to appoint an SEC Ombudsman.
Amends the Securities Investor Protection Act of 1970 with respect to, among other specified items, an increased: (1) assessment paid by Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC) members; (2) borrowing limit on Treasury loans; and (3) cash limit of protection.
Amends the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 with respect to: (1) the Public Company Accounting Oversight (PCAO) Board oversight of auditors of brokers and dealers; and (2) foreign regulatory information sharing, and related matters.
Directs the PCAO Board to appoint an ombudsman.
Directs the SEC to establish a program of grants to states for enhanced protection of seniors from misleading and fraudulent marketing of financial products.
Amends the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 to require municipal financial advisers to register with the SEC.
Federal Insurance Office Act of 2009 – Establishes in the Treasury the Federal Insurance Office (FIO) to: (1) monitor the insurance industry; (2) recommend to the Financial Services Oversight Council that it designate an insurer as one subject to stricter standards; (3) assist in administering the Terrorism Insurance Program; and (4) perform other related duties.
Preempts a state insurance measure only to the extent it: (1) directly results in less favorable treatment of a non-U.S. insurer domiciled in a foreign jurisdiction that is subject to a covered agreement than a U.S. insurer domiciled, licensed, admitted, or otherwise authorized in that state; and (2) is inconsistent with such a covered agreement.
Requires the FIO Director to study and report to specified congressional committees on: (1) the global reinsurance market; and (2) how to modernize and improve the system of insurance regulation in the United States.
Now, then, feel better? Feel more informed?