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Business update: Deal reached on financial overhaul

Fri., June 25, 2010, 10:34 a.m.

House and Senate negotiators reached a dawn agreement today on legislation that redefines federal oversight of Wall Street and, following the signing of the health care act in March, adds another milestone to mark the Obama presidency. President Barack Obama declared victory after congressional negotiators reached agreement on a sweeping overhaul of rules overseeing Wall Street. Lawmakers shook hands on the compromise legislation at 5:39 a.m. after Obama administration officials helped broker a deal that cracked the last impediment to the bill — a proposal to force banks to spin off their lucrative derivatives trading business.

Financial pros take wait-and-see attitude on bill: Financial advisers and other experts in the investment community reacted warily today to news that lawmakers had reached tentative agreement on a wholesale makeover of U.S. financial regulations. The package is probably in investors’ best interest but may have unintended consequences for the firms handling their money, according to numerous financial professionals attending the Morningstar investment conference.

Stymied by GOP, Democrats at loss on jobs agenda: The demise of Democrats’ jobs-agenda legislation means that unemployment benefits will phase out for more than 200,000 people a week. Governors who had counted on fresh federal aid will now have to consider more budget cuts, tax increases and layoffs of state workers. Stymied by Republicans, Democrats are at a loss as they struggle to help pump up the economy in the run-up to congressional elections this fall.

Stocks fluctuate on bank overhaul, higher euro: The stock market fluctuated today as investors registered their relief over a banking overhaul bill that is less strict than feared. A stronger euro also lifted stocks. The Dow Jones industrials were down about a point while broader indexes were marginally higher.

BP shares fall; lost market value tops $100 billion: BP shares fell more than 4 percent in New York today. If the decline holds, BP will have lost more than $100 billion in market value since a rig it operated exploded in the Gulf of Mexico. Earlier, the company said the cost of responding to the Gulf oil leak has risen to $2.35 billion. The escalating costs, plus potential legal liabilities and BP’s continuing struggles to contain the leak — now estimated at between 1.5 million and 2.5 million gallons per day — have eroded investor confidence.


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