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Commentary :: Human Rights
BTL:Senate Finance Reform Bill Falls Short of Addressing Concentration of Wealth and Power on Wall Street
28 May 2010
BETWEEN THE LINES Syndicated Radio Newsmagazine
Senate Finance Reform Bill Falls Short of Addressing Concentration of Wealth and Power on Wall Street

Interview with Chuck Collins, director of the Institute for Policy Studies' Program on Inequality and Common Good, conducted by Scott Harris

The U.S. Senate passed a finance reform bill on May 20, joining the House, which passed its own legislation in December in response to the abuses of Wall Street firms and the nation's largest banks that triggered the worst economic crisis in the U.S. since the Great Depression. While America's largest financial institutions employed an army of lobbyists and spent millions of dollars in an attempt to weaken regulations in the Senate bill, they seemed relieved that the legislation, passed by a 59-39 vote, did not adopt stronger regulations or mandate more fundamental changes to the current system. In fact, the day after the Senate passed the bill, bank stocks soared.

The Senate legislation creates a new consumer financial protection bureau, regulates the financial derivatives market, establishes a financial stability oversight council of regulators that would work to identify systemic risks and sets up new procedures for liquidating failed financial firms. Progressive activists were disappointed that the Senate rejected an amendment by Sens. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio and Ted Kaufman, D-Del., that would have broken up some of the biggest banks to limit the risks that these "too big to fail," institutions pose to the financial system. There was also frustration that the legislation retained some dangerous loopholes in derivatives trading. Congressional leaders hope to hammer out differences between the House and Senate bills and take a final vote before the Fourth of July recess.

Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Chuck Collins, director of the Institute for Policy Studies' Program on Inequality and Common Good. Here Collins assesses the Senate reform legislation's strong points and shortcomings - expressing hope that activists will continue to work hard to strengthen the bill before its signed into law.

Contact the Institute for Policy Studies' Program on Inequality and Common Good group by calling (202) 234-9382 or visit their website at

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"Between The Lines" is a half-hour syndicated radio news magazine that each week features a summary of under-reported news stories and interviews with activists and journalists who offer progressive perspectives on international, national and regional political, economic and social issues. Because "Between The Lines" is independent of all publications, media networks or political parties, we are able to bring a diversity of voices to the airwaves generally ignored or marginalized by the major media. For more information on this week's topics and to check out our text archive listing topics and guests presented in previous programs visit:
"Between the Lines," WPKN 89.5 FM's weekly radio news magazine can be heard Tuesdays at 5:30 p.m. ET; Wednesdays at 8 a.m. ET and Saturdays at 2 p.m. ET (Wednesday's show airs at 7:30 a.m. ET during fundraising months of April and October).
For an email subscription of "Between The Lines Weekly Summary" which features a RealAudio link to the week's program for Between The Lines, send an email to btlsummary-subscribe (at)
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©2010 Between The Lines. All Rights Reserved.
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