Some might argue that the House of Representatives is not a friend to Wall Street, considering that its most conservative members threatened to blow through the debt ceiling deadline a couple weeks ago. That threat didn't faze investors much, however, and now the House could hand Wall Street a big deregulation victory. According to The New York Times' report, Republicans and business-friendly Democrats in the House have been working since 2010 to roll back parts of Dodd-Frank. They're set to vote on two bills this week that would make banks very, very happy.
The two bills on the table are one that would delay implementation of tougher regulatory standards for firms who give investment advice to retirees, and one that would exempt some derivatives trading from new regulation. The second was written in part by Citigroup lobbyists.
These bills have been roundly criticized by the Treasury Department, consumer groups, and organizations critical of the financial industry. The representatives' position isn't helped by the fact that some of them have been parroting lines directly from bank lobbyists. According to the Times:
One House aide, in an email exchange among House Financial Services staff members last year, warned that lawmakers should not mimic the talking points from lobbyists.
"I know that some of our members are inclined to whore, but we cannot be apes," the Republican aide said.
If the two bills pass this week, that would make eight House-approved deregulation bills this year. However, the bills are unlikely to be signed into law, according to indications from the Senate and President Obama.
So why does the House keep putting these bills on the floor? Campaign dollars, of course. The Times explains, "For lawmakers, [benefits come] in the form of hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions. The banks, meanwhile, welcome the bills as a warning to regulatory agencies that they should tread carefully when drawing up new rules."
Not all members of the House like what's going on. Democratic Rep. Alan Grayson said earlier this year, "Why don't we just save ourselves some time and hand Goldman Sachs a trillion dollars?"