Editorials - United States - Panafrica - Politics - Governance
President Obama’s new financial law, a plus or a minus?
While the ‘blue’ faction of the American public believe that another feather has been placed in the cap of U.S President Barack Obama following his signing into law of what has been described as the most sweeping overhaul of lending and high-finance rules since the Great Depression, the ‘red’ public believe another feather has been removed from his cap.

According to experts, the new law comes at a politically delicate time for the president. A Yahoo poll showed that growing number of business leaders describe the Obama administration as antagonistic to their interests, and the American public is increasingly wary of his policy initiatives.

‘Red’ America argues that the new financial law will mar rather than help out people still spooling from the recession. "Millions of Americans are struggling to find jobs, and yet all they see in Washington are Democrats passing massive bills that, at their core, seem to have one thing in common: more job loss," Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., was quoted as saying on the Senate floor Wednesday.

But what the new law really does, according to financial experts, is that it pulls together a prominent council of regulators to be on the lookout for risks across the financial system. It also creates a powerful independent consumer financial protection bureau within the Federal Reserve to write and enforce new regulations covering lending and credit.

The new law is also believed to place shadow financial markets that previously escaped the oversight of regulators under new scrutiny and gives the government new powers to break up companies that threaten the American economy, and the economy of other nations tied to America’s.

"Because of this law, the American people will never be asked again to foot the bill for Wall Street’s mistakes. There will be no more tax-funded bailouts, period. Regulators will have to be vigilant," Obama was quoted as saying.

Division

Despite the protection this bill appears to offer American consumers, ‘red’ and ‘blue’ Americans remain divided over its timing as the midterm election season unveils. It is yet to be measured whether this new bill will further dent the public support of the rather equable Obama, or enhance his public prop up.

Nonetheless, he has signed a new financial law; emphasizing provisions that guard borrowers from abusive lenders. In his words, it is "the strongest financial protections for consumers in the nation’s history.”

The signing of the bill is not just a victory for American consumers but a victory also for the rest of the world economies tied to the events on Wall Street, as it promises to restrain Wall Street excesses that could set off another recession.

What the new bill has in it for third world nations is that corporations seeking resources in Africa for example, will have to show verification of where and how their resource were obtained, to ensure their business did not fuel civil wars, or rebellions, or human rights abuses, notably in DR Congo and the Great Lakes region.

How ever this new law is perceived, the president who promised change, in the backdrop of tensions regarding the questionable illegal Immigration laws in Arizona, opposition criticism of his administration’s handling of the BP oil spill, the White House handling of the race row involving a senior black official in the Agriculture department and the incessant attacks on his administration by the Tea Party opposition, has, like with the health care reform, sailed to shore with another historic reform in America.


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