Thursday, May 13, 2010

Thank God For Al Franken

When I was at Air America Radio in 2006, I knew Al Franken was serious about running for Senate when he moved his show back to his home state of Minnesota. Rumors had turned into a serious candidacy and a hard fought campaign. In 2008, Al Franken beat incumbent Norm Coleman in Minnesota's U.S. Senate race. In 2009 after many long, litigious months, Franken was sworn into office. And in 2010 the former comedy man continues to impress, especially with his latest legislative victory recorded today.

From Yahoo News:

An amendment from Democratic Senator Al Franken would set up a government clearinghouse to assign debt rating duties to agencies, including the Big Three: Moody's Corp, Standard & Poor's and Fitch Ratings.

That could ease pressures the agencies face to assign overly rosy ratings to debt instruments issued by firms that hire the agencies, backers of the Franken amendment said.

"There is a staggering conflict of interest facing the credit rating industry," Franken said on the Senate floor.

The Franken plan could bring more competition to ratings, said Bill Bergman, an analyst with Morningstar Inc.

Chris Dodd, known for his financial cred around the Senate, did not support this amendment coming to pass. He's not exactly a picture of cherubic goodness in D.C. if you know what I mean. Senator Dodd aside, this is a huge victory those who hold credit cards and a big defeat for those that rip off consumers and work (generally at the top) in the industry. Once the bill passes, and if the amendment remains intact, Congress' attempt at financial reform will have at least one victory written within. Congrats to Senator Franken for pushing this through, err or in Republican-speak, ramming it down our throats!