Financial industry reform battle begins again in Washington

As the Washington Independent noted on Wednesday, the U.S. House Financial Services Committee is in the midst of tackling financial regulatory reform, which has brought out the lobbyists in full force.

Here’s just a small taste of the action so far: American Banker is reporting that the committee is close to carving out an exemption for community banks from the proposed Consumer Financial Protection Agency, as a way to win wider support. The New York Times says the financial services industry already has spent $220 million this year on lobbying efforts to shape financial reform. And Ryan Grim at The Huffington Post reports that Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan sent a letter to fellow Democrat Melissa Bean (D-Ill.) criticizing her effort to block states from imposing stricter restrictions than those imposed under the Consumer Financial Protection Agency.

That’s not all. At Naked Capitalism, guest poster George Washington says the financial industry lobbyists aren’t just trying to kill new laws – they’re actually trying to weaken existing regulations, citing Robert Borosage’s similar argument.

And this is only after the first day of the committee’s hearings.

Good to see how much President Obama has changed the culture of Washington.

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Mary Kane

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