An update of the story that was on Page One of today's Buffalo News:
- Democrats willing to test GOP in Wall St. showdown - Jim Kuhnhenn/AP/Buffalo News
With a showdown vote looming, Democrats are resisting Republican appeals for a broad compromise on financial overhaul legislation and are eager to test whether GOP unity will crack in an anti-Wall Street political climate.
The top negotiators on the regulatory bill - Democratic Sen. Christopher Dodd [right] and Republican Sen. Richard Shelby - professed to be close to a deal during a joint appearance on NBC's "Meet the Press."
But Shelby conceded that "inches sometimes are miles," and the two did not hold a negotiating session Sunday. Appearing Monday morning on a network news show, Shelby said, "I don't believe we'll have a deal today."
- Berating the Raters - Paul Krugman/The New York Times
Let’s hear it for the Senate’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. ... In the past few days scandalous Wall Street e-mail messages released by the subcommittee have made headlines.
That’s the good news. The bad news is that most of the headlines were about the wrong e-mails. ... No, the e-mail messages you should be focusing on are the ones from employees at the credit rating agencies, which bestowed AAA ratings on hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of dubious assets, nearly all of which have since turned out to be toxic waste. And no, that’s not hyperbole: of AAA-rated subprime-mortgage-backed securities issued in 2006, 93 percent — 93 percent! — have now been downgraded to junk status.
- Senate Braces for Financial Showdown - Karl Hulse/The New York Times
- Deal Near on Derivatives - The Wall Street Journal
Among the considerations still in the balance: A big provision being sought by Warren Buffett in recent weeks. A key Senate committee had changed its proposed overhaul of derivatives regulation after lobbying by Mr. Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc., potentially helping the famed investor avoid a financial hit, congressional aides say.
- Financial reform's big unknowns - Robert J. Samuelson/The Washington Post
Every financial reform, even if mostly successful, ultimately gives way to another because there are unintended consequences or unforeseen problems.
- The case for splitting up the nation's megabanks - Zephyr Teachout/The Big Money
Typically, when confronted with the prospect of breaking up big banks, bankers and their apologists argue that socially useful economies of scale will be endangered. But it’s worth asking: What are the economies of scale that come along with a bank that has, say, $2.2 trillion dollars in assets? (That’s Bank of America.) Given that our six largest banks are now collectively worth more than 60 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product, it’s a burning question.
-- George Pyle/The Buffalo News