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Sticking points keep work going on Wall St. bill

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By Jim Kuhnhenn

WASHINGTON (AP) — House and Senate negotiators struggled to meet a self-imposed Thursday deadline to wrap up a massive financial regulation bill, with two major sticking points standing in the way of completing legislation that has been one year in the making.

Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, huddled with fellow senators to resolve disputes over how far to go in restricting banks from engaging in securities deals.

Aiming to break a deadlock, Dodd proposed limits on the ability of banks to carry out high-risk trades or invest in hedge funds and private equity funds.

Dodd and House Democrats were still holding talks on whether to force the largest bank holding companies to spin off their business in complex derivatives into separate subsidiaries.

Key votes, including those of Sens. Blanche Lincoln, D-Ark., and Scott Brown, R-Mass., hung on the outcome of the talks.

The House-Senate panel has been working into the evening over the past two weeks to resolve differences between the two bills. The legislation aims to avoid a recurrences of the 2008 financial meltdown by requiring a regulatory council to look for threats to the system, by creating a consumer protection bureau, forcing large failing firms to liquidate and policing financial instruments that have been largely unregulated.


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