Here's a surprise: Republicans hope to repeal or significantly overhaul the financial regulatory reform legislation that passed earlier this year. Most Republicans opposed the bill at the time; some were quite vocal about that opposition. According to Reuters, that sentiment has not changed in recent months.
Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., who serves on the Senate Banking Committee, told those at the Reuters Washington Summit on Monday that he is most concerned about the provisions of the new law that call for the creation of a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau within the Securities and Exchange Commission. Instead of making credit more available for consumers, it will complicate the process so much for banks that credit will be hard to come by, he said.
Moreover, he and his colleagues are bothered that Harvard professor Elizabeth Warren has been appointed to set up the new agency. Shelby said the vocal Wall Street critic has "a big axe to grind and she's sharpening that axe."
However, Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. President Sheila Bair doesn't think re-examining the legislation would be all that good for the banking industry. Instead of answering and eliminating questions, Bair says it would create more questions at a time when the industry is already facing a lot of regulatory uncertainty. "I hope people would think long and hard about that" before opening such a Pandora's box, she said.
As is always the case when Congress is involved, we'll just have to wait and see.