Friday, Apr. 23, 2010

Preventing Another Wall Street Melt Down

As Senate Democrats gear up to start trying to pass their version of a bill to re-regulate Wall Street and other finance firms, President Obama swung by New York City for a speech in the nation's financial capital. "I believe in the power of the free market," he said on April 22 at Cooper Union, just a couple of miles from the headquarters of firms like Citigroup, Goldman Sachs and AIG. "But a free market was never meant to be a free license to take whatever you can get, however you can get it."

In December, the House passed a 1,279-page bill to overhaul federal regulation of financial institutions. The Senate's version — which rings in at 1,336 pages — has passed out of committee and will probably soon be considered by the full chamber. What's in those thousands of pages and what are the chances that the changes will prevent another Wall Street meltdown? Here we take apart seven key areas of reform.