Frank, Dodd, Say Reg Reform on Track

A major rewrite of U.S. financial regulations is largely on track, the two chairmen in charge of the legislation said after a meeting with Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner on Capitol Hill Tuesday.

“I don’t see any issue here that delays this from getting agreed to,” House Financial Services Chairman Barney Frank told a small gaggle of reporters after the 30 minute meeting with Geithner and his Senate counterpart, Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) in Dodd’s Senate hideaway office.

“We’re making very substantial progress here" on issues including derivatives, higher capital standards for financial institutions, some consolidation of regulators and on not allowing 100 percent securitization, Frank said. “I believe we will have the rules in place, signed into law, before the old bad habits [return].”

Dodd offered a little less optimism than Frank, who has said Congress can complete financial reform this year, in terms of timing. “We want to clearly get something done if we can before the end of the year in our committee, and possibly beyond that,” Dodd said. “But obviously health care will determine to some extent how much we can get done.”

“There’s a lot of commonalty and common interest in this, as I sense it as this point,” Dodd said, but lawmakers still need to hammer out specifically how everything will work in legislative language. “We need to do this carefully and right. You’re reorganizing a structure that hasn’t been fundamentally changed since the 1930s you have to do this carefully.”

“I think we’re pretty well along. There are some ideas we hope can be embraced by people here who care about getting this done, stripping it of ideology.”

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