Yesterday, the House of Representatives voted in favor of auditing the Federal Reserve, receiving massive support from both sides of the aisle, reported The Huffington Post. However, despite how good that seems on the surface, Republicans aren’t going to vote favorably for something unless it’s outright horrible.
Sure, the Federal Reserve is going to get audited, but even though the Federal Reserve Transparency Act was passed, House Republicans still want to protect Wall Street, as they voted in favor of two bills designed to further deregulated the actions of big banks.
Naturally, the move to audit the Federal Reserve is unpopular among those at the Reserve and even big banks, but the Republicans are equally anxious to lend a helping hand to financial deregulation efforts. H.R. 5405 would provide broad exemptions to a large part of the market for use of derivatives, the trade of which contributed to the market crash in 2008. The Dodd-Frank amendment sought out to regulate the use of derivatives, one way rewuiring more transparency.
H.R. 5405 would allow corporations to circumvent the derivative regulations outlined by Dodd-Frank which would “[open] up the avenues for speculative trading and systemic risk at major companies.”
Another deregulation bill, H.R. 5461, would provide a way for banks to circumvent the Volcker Rule, which prohibited banks from betting on the success of certain securities would taxpayer money. Banks would also be able to charge more on upfront fees related to mortgages.
These bills have divided the largely weak-spined Democrats, but have united the Wall Street-backed Republicans. Rep. Walter Jones (R-N.C.) was the only Republican to vote against the deregulation bills while Democratic opinion has been a little more divided.
The bills still have to make it through the Democrat-controlled U.S. Senate, which stands a higher chance of stalling the pro-Wall Street bills. However, it’s still disturbing to know that nearly six years after the economy tanked, there are politicians in power who still want the same freedoms for banks that caused the crisis in the first place.