The light you see at the end of the tunnel may or may not be a train. We will know shortly.
Last evening Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) began circulating a draft alternative proposal to S. 3217, the financial-reform bill introduced by Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.) earlier this spring. The draft alternative is not in legislative language but rather a title-by-title narrative of Sen. Shelby’s (and presumably other Republicans’) vision of financial reform.
Sen. Shelby’s draft alternative introduces some good ideas and concepts dealing with resolution authority, small-business exemptions from Sarbanes-Oxley and transparency that—if included in a final bill—ICBA could support in any financial-reform legislation. The draft alternative also raises some concerns about Federal Reserve independence and the overarching power of the Treasury secretary.
More importantly, however, Sen. Shelby’s draft proposal could signal progress in negotiations between Sens. Shelby and Dodd. The fact that concrete alternatives are being discussed is a good sign. ICBA encourages Sens. Dodd and Shelby to continue their negotiations to a successful conclusion so that the Senate might act on much-needed Wall Street reform.