Tag Archives: Kanjorski

Don’t Forget The Kanjorski Amendment

By Simon Johnson

Substantive discussion in the House-Senate financial reform reconciliation conference is focusing on the Lincoln amendment, with some back-and-forth on the Volcker Rule (as manifest in the Merkley-Levin amendment).  The FT reports today that Paul Volcker is no longer opposed to the Lincoln approach – now it has become clear that this is really just about (substantially) raising the capital that banks need to back derivatives trading.  And the influential Tom Hoenig, of the Kansas City Fed, appears to be strongly in the Lincoln camp

While our most experienced regulators weigh in, the lobbyists start to struggle.  The mobilization of broader support against gutting the legislation also helps – the earlier Senate debate has raised sensitivity levels and there is a new concentration to the public scrutiny.  The reconciliation process itself is much more open than would ordinarily be the case – a result of outside pressure.

But amidst all this excitement and potential moving parts, don’t forget about the Kanjorski amendment (not currently on the list of most prominent topics). Continue reading

How Big Is Too Big?

As legislation on restructuring the banking industry moves forward, attention on Capitol Hill is increasingly drawn to the issue of bank size. Should our biggest banks be made smaller?

Senator Bernard Sanders, an independent from Vermont, introduced the “Too Big To Fail Is Too Big to Exist” bill in early November; this helped focus attention. Since then, in the legislative trenches where the detailed crafting takes place, Representative Paul E. Kanjorski — the Pennsylvania Democrat who is chairman of the Subcommittee on Capital Markets, Insurance and Government Sponsored Enterprises — proposed an amendment to the Financial Stability Improvement Act (currently before the House Financial Services Committee) that

would empower federal regulators to rein in and dismantle financial firms that are so large, inter-connected, or risky that their collapse would put at risk the entire American economic system, even if those firms currently appear to be well-capitalized and healthy.

In a major step forward, this passed the committee on Nov. 18. Continue reading