Two years ago this month the downfall of Bear Stearns triggered the worst economic decline since the Great Depression. Yet despite the enormous hardship that countless American families have endured since then, Congress has failed to pass legislation aimed at preventing something like this from happening again.
That's the bad news.
The better news is that the Senate is at long last poised to tackle its own version of financial regulation to match a House-passed bill that improves consumer protections on financial matters and rewrites the rules of Wall Street supervision.
The financial industry needs a better sheriff. The existing regulatory framework, which allowed a dysfunctional financial system to wreck the economy by reckless speculation and incompetent management, must be overhauled.
Both House and Senate versions add layers of oversight to monitor Wall Street's activity. They create "rescue funds" financed by large banks to limit the public's liability when institutions deemed "too big to fail" are run into the ground by greedy executives. Translation: No more bailouts.
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