More than a year after the near-collapse of Wall Street plunged the economy into crisis, the House on Friday approved the most sweeping overhaul of the nation’s financial regulatory system since the Great Depression.
The 223 to 202 vote, largely along party lines, marked a milestone in the Obama administration’s efforts to rein in the abuses that contributed to the current crisis and to revamp the current patchwork of regulators to prevent similar failures in the future. The president has called financial reform one of his top priorities, alongside health care and climate change.
The 1,279-page bill creates a new federal agency dedicated to consumer protection, establishes a council of regulators to police the financial landscape for systemic risks, initiates oversight of the vast derivatives market and gives the government power to wind down large, troubled firms whose collapse could endanger the entire financial system. The legislation also gives shareholders an advisory say on executive compensation, increases transparency of credit ratings agencies and sets aside billions in government funds to aid unemployed homeowners.
To read more about the reform package, click here.