Congress Agrees on Comprehensive Financial Reform Bill

A conference of House Representatives and Senators agreed early this morning on a sweeping financial regulatory reform bill after weeks of reconciliation between separate House and Senate versions. The final bill now travels to separate House and Senate votes and then, upon passage by Congress, to a Presidential signature into law. The bill — which is being called the Dodd-Frank Act widely in the press after Sen Christopher Dodd (D-CT) and Rep Barney Frank (D-MA) — puts to rest controversial issues including treatment of banks’ derivatives business and regulation of consumer financial products like mortgages. Treasury Department secretary Tim Geithner was quick to issue a statement soon after the emergence of the “strong” final bill. “It represents the most sweeping set of financial reforms since those that followed the Great Depression,” Geithner said. “It establishes the greatest consumer financial protections in American history. It prevents financial firms from taking risks that will threaten the economy.” He added: “And it provides the government with significant new tools to better protect taxpayers from the damage of future financial crises.” Geithner urged Congress to take swift action to pass the pending legislation. Write to Diana Golobay.

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