Committee Shuffling in the Senate May Spell Trouble for Bank Regulation

The passing of Senator Edward Kennedy threatens to shake up committee chairs in the Senate and in the process may deal the banks the upper hand in their fight with new regulation.

Senator Christopher Dodd who chairs the Senate Banking Committee is in line to succeed Kennedy as chairman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. The man who is in line to replace Dodd is Senator Tim Johnson from South Dakota.

Dodd is likely to make the move though he isn’t obliged to do so, but given some of the ethical questions surrounding him and his finances, he might well want to avoid the spotlight of a bruising fight involving the banks.

Johnson is widely regarded as a friend of the banks. South Dakota is home to Citigroup’s (NYSE:C) credit card processing unit and other large banks maintain operations in the state. Johnson lobbied against the new credit card legislation and was the only Democrat to vote against the bill.

If this shuffling of chairs comes to pass then it is only going to make the road to any real reform that much more difficult to traverse.

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About Tom Lindmark 401 Articles

I’m not sure that credentials mean much when it comes to writing about things but people seem to want to see them, so briefly here are mine. I have an undergraduate degree in economics from an undistinguished Midwestern university and masters in international business from an equally undistinguished Southwestern University. I spent a number of years working for large banks lending to lots of different industries. For the past few years, I’ve been engaged in real estate finance – primarily for commercial projects. Like a lot of other finance guys, I’m looking for a job at this point in time.

Given all of that, I suggest that you take what I write with the appropriate grain of salt. I try and figure out what’s behind the news but suspect that I’m often delusional. Nevertheless, I keep throwing things out there and occasionally it sticks. I do read the comments that readers leave and to the extent I can reply to them. I also reply to all emails so feel free to contact me if you want to discuss something at more length. Oh, I also have a very thick skin, so if you disagree feel free to say so.

Enjoy what I write and let me know when I’m off base – I probably won’t agree with you but don’t be shy.

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