The chairman of the Senate's Committee on Banking, Richard Shelby of Alabama, has been an opponent of the Dodd-Frank legislation since its inception. In the last few years however he has come to publicly accept its existence as something that he has to live with
But that doesn't mean he can't try and make a few tweaks.
And by "tweaks" he kind of means knocking out Dodd-Frank's regulatory teeth with a ball peen hammer.
The head of the Senate Banking Committee unveiled his long-awaited bill to toughen oversight of the Federal Reserve and ease the regulatory burden on dozens of banks, setting off what could be intense negotiations with Democrats.
In legislation that Senator Richard Shelby calls a “work in progress,” he laid out ideas to make the Fed disclose more information to Congress about its monetary-policy decisions and free some lenders from stringent capital requirements.
So while Dodd-Frank was written to restrict the ways that banks can indulge in risky behaviors, Shelby's legislation is down with the creation of prop trading desks at community banks with like $9 billion in assets.
His law would also ease back on all that mortgage mishegoss created after 2008.
Another Shelby proposal is giving banks a break from what’s known as the qualified-mortgage rule by letting lenders get out of tough Dodd-Frank underwriting requirements when they keep a home loan on their books.
Hey, let's get real. It's not like bad mortgages were that instrumental in the near collapse of out financial system. And most of the surviving small banks in America have worked their loan portfolio credit situations back in the range of "acceptable."
Believe it or not, congressional Democrats are not acting as if they're too turned on by Shelby's package.
Senator Mark Warner, a Virginia Democrat on the banking panel, considers Shelby’s bill “at first glance to be a significant overreach,” said his spokeswoman Rachel Cohen.
“Senator Warner thinks that is a shame, because there are a number of commonsense, bipartisan fixes that Democrats and Republicans alike want to enact.”
So, another piece of financial regulation comes to the table as an unfinished piece of legislation already being torn apart by partisan debate.
At least that seems familiar enough.