On May 20, the Senate passed S. 3217, the Restoring American Financial Stability Act of 2010, more commonly known as the banking or financial regulatory reform legislation. Most of the four weeks of debate on this legislation was spent working through a list of amendments affecting such areas as proprietary trading by banks; greater consumer protection; and the trading of over-the-counter of derivatives, among others. We note, however, that the Senate's actions are not the final word on any of these areas: a number of issues remain unresolved and need to be addressed when the Senate attempts to reconcile its version of this legislation with a differing version, passed earlier by the House of Representatives. As a result, the opportunity remains to direct the impact of this legislation before it reaches the president's desk, which is expected. Beyond that, opportunities will arise to impact final program direction through future rulemaking.
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