23 October 2009

She Voted For You: Financial Overhaul (Updated)

U.S. Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, voted against advancing the Consumer Financial Protection Agency Act of 2009 from the House Committee on Financial Services.

Endorsed 39-29 by the committee largely along party lines, the measure would create "a federal agency to regulate home loans, credit cards, savings accounts and other financial services," The Associated Press reports.

The proposed office "is a cornerstone to Obama's broader plan to clamp down on Wall Street and prevent much of the reckless lending that contributed to last year's near-collapse of the market," the article explains. "But the agency also has been the administration's toughest sell to lawmakers worried that the added regulation would strain neighborhood banks and small businesses."

The article adds that "business lobbyists pressed lawmakers to scale back the legislation and won several concessions." The changes "exempted general retailers, auto dealers, title insurers, accountants, lawyers and others," AP reports. "All but the biggest banks were spared from routine agency inspections and no businesses were required to offer standard, government-approved financial services, as Obama had wanted."

Capito earlier voted against a companion measure, the Over-the-Counter Derivatives Markets Act of 2009, when the committee advanced it by 43-26.

That bill would "tighten rules on previously unregulated financial instruments," AP reported in a separate article, which called it "a long-awaited step toward governing the obscure and complex transactions at the heart of the troubles that befell some of Wall Street's most well-known financial houses."

"Republicans said derivative transactions should be disclosed and operate under great visibility but object to trading them in regulated exchanges," that article also said. "Federal regulators have argued for a tougher proposal."

AP also offers "the whys and hows of regulations on derivatives."

Update: The Charleston Daily Mail, The Journal of Martinsburg and The Intelligencer of Wheeling have articles (of 726, 366 and 326 and words, respectively) reporting that Capito's husband, Charles Capito, had been hired by United Bankshares Inc. as an executive vice president and director of business development.

He had been with what has become Morgan Stanley Smith Barney since 1976. The Daily Mail article said Capito had been working on a project for Smith Barney and Citigroup, merged under a previous deal, for the last two and a half years in New York.

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