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April 29, 2013

Brown-Vitter Rearranges Financial-Reform Battlefield

“A year ago, the big U.S. banks were focused on repealing, or at least eliminating large parts of, the Dodd-Frank financial-reform law.

“They poured money into the campaign of the Republican presidential nominee, Mitt Romney, and gave generously to opponents of the pro-reform Senate candidates Sherrod Brown and Elizabeth Warren. At the same time, lobbyists devised creative tactics to delay implementation of Dodd-Frank — filing lawsuits, mobilizing international pressure, hiring former regulators, writing opinion articles and comment letters, and commissioning faux research pieces. It was a tour de force by one of the great lobbies at the top of its game. 

“And it failed.

“On April 23, I attended a forum organized by American Banker, a trade publication, to discuss the legislative proposal crafted by Brown, an Ohio Democrat, and Senator David Vitter, a Louisiana Republican. In attendance was a Who’s Who of the industry lobby, with all the major groups represented at a senior level, including the Financial Services Forum, the Clearing House and the American Bankers Association.

“They let it be known that the line from big banks and their allies had shifted and that their new refrain is ‘let’s implement Dodd-Frank.’”

***

Read Simon Johnson’s full Bloomberg View op ed here

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