The Shadow Financial Regulatory Committee (SFRC) is a group of publicly recognized independent experts on the financial services industry — including experts in banking, insurance, and securities — who meet regularly to study and critique regulatory policies affecting this sector of the economy.
By banning filibusters of most executive-branch and judicial nominations, the Democrats have done historic damage to the Senate. This will have long-term consequences for the nation, but the most significant initial fallout will likely be the confirmation of Rep. Mel Watt (D., N.C.) to head the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which regulates mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
Sometimes it seems as though no one debating housing finance reform was alive before 2008. How the housing finance system operated then, and why it all went wrong, tells us a lot about the "reforms" that are in prospect.
If the American people come to recognize that the financial crisis was caused by the housing policies of their own government—rather than insufficient regulation or the inherent instability of the U.S. financial system—Dodd-Frank will be seen as an illegitimate response to the crisis. Only then will it be possible to repeal or substantially modify this repressive law.
There are many reasons to be critical of the Dodd-Frank Act, but in at least one respect its drafters had the germ of a good idea. They recognized that in order to create a stable housing finance system it was necessary to have a high quality mortgage that would result in few defaults.