The Senate Agriculture Committee is scheduled Wednesday morning to mark up the Wall Street Transparency and Accountability Act. Senators Blanche Lincoln, D-Ark., Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, and Robert Casey, D-Penn., say this legislation will bring transparency and accountability to the nation's financial markets, and includes mandatory clearing and trading requirements, real-time reporting of derivatives trades and ensures that all loopholes are closed. It aims to lower risk and boost safety in what’s been an unregulated $600 trillion market blamed for the economic meltdown and commodity price volatility.
However it's directly tied to the fate of a more sweeping and partisan Banking Committee reform bill put forward by Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd, D-Conn. On Tuesday Lincoln said the bill would be merged with Dodd's bill, which has drawn fire from Republicans over a $50 billion bank rescue fund.
Lincoln calls her legislation real reform and says it will provide 100% transparency to the market, close all loopholes, prevent future bailouts, and keep jobs on Main Street. Lincoln says that through passage of this legislation, America's consumers and businesses will finally see a financial oversight system that promotes and fosters the most honest, open and reliable financial markets in the world.
Harkin says when Wall Street failed the economy fundamentally failed to work for ordinary Americans on Main Street. "We cannot allow these same reckless financial practices to continue, unregulated, into the future," Harkin said. Casey says the choice is simple: to allow Wall Street to continue to make the rules or to put in place commonsense safeguards to protect consumers and the economy.