There are plenty of things not included in Congress's regulatory overhaul that could be many, in fact, that various economists, investors, politicians, regulators and consumer activists desperately insist should be. The Senate bill lacks a hard rule about how much big financial institutions should be allowed to borrow relative to what they own specific rules about capital requirements are left up to some of the same regulators who didn't act in the run-up to the crisis. Neither bill really addresses the fact that the whole financial system hinges on the opinions of just a few big credit rating companies.
The most glaring omission, though, is one Congress is in the perfect position to resolve: the fate of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and government-supported home ownership. The two home-lending giants, which were taken over by the government in September 2008, still sit in limbo, having already sucked up more than $100 billion in taxpayer funds. The Administration has made gestures toward figuring out what to do with the two institutions, which support home lending by buying up loans and then packaging them to sell to investors. But so far there's been no proposal, let alone legislation. Until there is, a major component of the financial crisis the nature of the American system of home finance remains unresolved.