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Wall Street Crackdown, Smackdown

They said he couldn't do it but President Obama managed to get health care signed, sealed and delivered about a year after he took office.

And now his sights are set squarely on a Wall Street crackdown.

According to the latest chatter, Senator Christopher Dodd's (D-CT) bill could get through Congress as soon as Memorial Day. Daniel Clifton of Strategas Research says we won’t know for sure for at least a few weeks, but “it’s doable.”

As things stand now here’s how the legislation is shaping up.

- A nine-member Financial Stability Oversight Council, chaired by the Treasury secretary and including the Federal Reserve chairman and heads of regulatory agencies, will monitor the financial markets to watch for potential threats to financial system.

- Federal Reserve will gain oversight over the largest, most interconnected financial firms, even nonbanks. With approval of two-thirds of the oversight council, the Fed could force large interconnected firms to break up if they pose a "grave threat" to financial stability.

- The Fed will lose day-to-day supervision of smaller bank holding companies — those with assets of $50 billion or less.

- A mechanism to shut down large failing firms will be created, with shareholders and unsecured creditors bearing the losses. Management also would be removed. The costs of such a shutdown would be covered by a $50 billion fund financed by the largest financial firms.

- A consumer protection division within the Federal Reserve will be established to write regulations on lending, consolidating powers now exercised by various bank regulators. The oversight council could veto those regulations with a two-thirds vote.

- Derivatives will face tighter regulation, the complicated financial instruments blamed for accelerating the Wall Street crisis. Negotiations continue on what exceptions to include for corporations that use derivatives as a hedge against price fluctuations.

- Shareholders can cast nonbinding votes on executive pay packages.

Of course speculation also suggests that some of these proposals will be cut. What's most likely to go?

Watch the video above and find out from Daniel Clifton of Strategas!


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