is here. A reaction here and here. I won't add much, because I've only found the gloss of the bill, rather than the text itself, which might not yet be publicly available (gotta leak soon, though, right? This being Congress...UPDATE: here it is, via Balkinization) but:
- It contains administrative requirements that would apply to Treasury and homeowner benefits aimed at those hardest hit by ARMs, etc., I think.
- The former cabins Treasury's discretion (there's an oversight board, a role for GAO, etc) and might make the nondelegation argument easier for Treasury to make, if they are implemented. They would also:
- get the government an equity stake, which is no small thing: "We include a provision to ensure the federal government gets warrants from companies that sell their bad assets to us." That's what it did to AIG, and what some observers are calling for. UPDATE: All posh. The Secretary must only report to Congress on whether he took warrants per section 19 of the bill. UPDATE TO UPDATE: Not so fast - David Hoffman sees what I missed, Steven Davidoff has more.
- "add a provision to require the Secretary to have executive compensation standards for entities that seek to sell assets through the program. Such standards shall include limits on incentives and severance and a requirement for a claw-back provision." Requiring executive compensation standards but leaving it to the secretary to define them makes this oft-discussed proposal much, much less less than meets the eye. UPDATE: Bill language is "appropriate standards," so yes, much less than meets the eye here. Though, as Davidoff says, it put the Treasury Secretary, who won't be Paulson for much longer, in an absolutely new place.
- UPDATE: I predict a judicial review donnybrook; Dodd looks for APA review instead of no review. Quite a radical difference, but courts did hear a lot of RTC appeals ("Any determination of the Secretary with regard to any particular troubled asset pursuant to this Act shall be final, and shall not be set aside unless such determination is found to be arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, or not in accordance with the law.").
- The homeowner benefits include some relief plans and, most interestingly, a provision for court supervised mortgage deductions! New ground for Article III courts, errrrr, make that Article I courts serving "as judicial officers of the United States district court established under Article III," whatever that exactly means (I know, I know, it's in Northern Pipeline et seq.). Anyway, Dodd's bill: "[t]he only way to really help homeowners keep their homes is to allow borrowers to get the mortgages on their first homes reduced to the market value of those homes through bankruptcy." I'm sure the bankruptcy courts will look forward to exercising this new responsibility. UPDATE: This is section 11 of the bill.
- UPDATE: Section 12 claws back the bailout of money market funds, at least as done through the Exchange Stabilization Fund. The only reversal of past action my quick look revealed. It's not totally dramatic, though - the Secretary is given the authority to create a money market insurance fund paid for by fees from money market account providers.
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1. Posted by Jake on September 22, 2008 @ 21:08 | Permalink
"I'm sure the bankruptcy courts will look forward to exercising this new responsibility."
Geez, Prof. Zaring, you ain't spent much time in bankruptcy courts lately, have you?
The situation you disparage happens every day, right or wrong. The bankruptcy court system is corrupt. Dodd of all people should know this.
2. Posted by fedgovernor on September 22, 2008 @ 21:15 | Permalink
There must be something in there about how Dodd can get a below-market loan from a guy with a really, really horrid tan.
Did you find that section yet?
3. Posted by Matt Bodie on September 23, 2008 @ 10:19 | Permalink
Jake, I could be wrong, but I believe that was sarcasm.