Not So Radical Reform – BusinessWeek How New Democrats and Wall Street are watering down financial regulation in Congress
The New Democrats’ fingerprints are all over the final House bill. Lawmakers rejected a mortgage "cram-down" amendment, which would have given federal judges the power to extend loan terms, lower interest rates, and cut principal for bankrupt homeowners. Although lawmakers ultimately voted to create a consumer protection agency, the New Democrats succeeded in stripping the proposal of some components. Under the bill, real estate agents, auto dealers, and other nonfinancial companies won’t fall under the purview of the agency. And the largest banks won’t have to offer plain-vanilla credit-card and mortgage products.