Senators close to reform deal

Two key US senators have nearly cut a deal on financial regulation reform and a summary of it is being drafted, sources said, but other senators remain deeply divided on basic reform issues.

Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd, a Democrat, and Republican Senator Bob Corker have worked on a bipartisan bill for weeks meant to overcome disputes on an issue of high importance to the Obama administration.

One source familiar with the Dodd-Corker talks said the two may announce an agreement tomorrow and release a summary of the details of their deal next week.

One key component is to put a new government watchdog for financial consumers in the Federal Reserve, instead of making the watchdog an independent agency or housing it in another agency, two policy analysts said in a research note.

"As of this afternoon, a three-page summary of an emerging Dodd-Corker deal apparently was being prepared to circulate, although we have not seen it yet," said analysts Charles Gabriel and Joe Engelhard at Capital Alpha Partners.

They said another component of the deal calls for forming a "hybrid resolution fund" for financing the dismantling of large financial firms that get into trouble.

Some money for the fund would be fronted by large firms and invested in Treasury securities that banks could keep on their balance sheets, with insurance firms partly exempted.

 

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