Factbox: Election may shift Wall St regulatory overhaul players

(BestGrowthStock) – The U.S. congressional elections on Tuesday appear likely to change the cast of characters behind a major rewrite of the rules that is under way for banks and Wall Street.

The overhaul, which touches every corner of the financial system and expected to take years to finish, started in July when President Barack Obama enacted sweeping reforms into law.

The reforms are now being applied by senior U.S. regulators through hundreds of rulemakings, but members of Congress are watching closely and can try to influence implementation.

If Republicans win control of the U.S. House of Representatives as expected, lawmakers who opposed the legislation will take over the House Financial Services Committee and may seek to soften the reforms.

The following are snapshots of the key players:

SPENCER BACHUS, NO. 1 HOUSE FINANCIAL SERVICES COMMITTEE

REPUBLICAN

Bachus, in line to take over the chairmanship of the House Financial Services Committee if Republicans win a House majority, has vowed to seek repeal of parts of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.

He opposed the bill on the final vote to approve it in July and has told Reuters that he wants to repeal part of it dealing with liquidation of distressed financial firms.

However, Bachus’ hold on the committee chairmanship could be challenged. Other senior Republicans, such as Ed Royce or Jeb Hensarling, may challenge him, according to House aides.

Bachus, 62, is a lawyer from Alabama.

BARNEY FRANK, HOUSE FINANCIAL SERVICES COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN

A senior Democrat known for his short temper and sharp wit, Frank, 70, was the undisputed chief architect of Wall Street reform in the House and a key ally of Obama.

He pushed the bill that bears his name through the House and through a contentious conference committee with the Senate, achieving much of the administration’s original reforms.

He is now fighting for his political life in Massachusetts where he faces a tough re-election battle. He will lose the chairmanship of the financial services committee, likely to Bachus, if Republicans win a House majority.

CHRISTOPHER DODD, SENATE BANKING COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN

Co-author of the reform legislation, Dodd, 66, is retiring from Congress at the end of the year after more than 35 years as a lawmaker from Connecticut.

TIM JOHNSON, NO. 2 SENATE BANKING COMMITTEE DEMOCRAT

When Dodd steps down, Johnson will replace him as chairman of the banking committee, if Democrats keep Senate control.

A South Dakota lawyer, Johnson, 63, underwent brain surgery in 2006 and came away healthy, but with impeded speech. He has recovered since then and was present through the all-night negotiations leading up the passage of the Dodd-Frank bill.

RICHARD SHELBY, NO. 1 SENATE BANKING COMMITTEE REPUBLICAN

The patient, cool-headed senior senator from Alabama, Shelby will take over the banking committee if Republicans win a Senate majority on Tuesday.

A lawyer with a distinctive Southern drawl, Shelby, 76, was first elected to the House in 1978 as a Democrat. He moved to the Senate in 1986 and switched parties in 1994.

TIMOTHY GEITHNER, TREASURY SECRETARY

As Obama’s point man on financial reform, Geithner is leading the effort to implement Dodd-Frank, which the president strongly supported.

A youthful-looking career public servant, Geithner, 49, is chairman of the new Financial Stability Oversight Council, an inter-agency coordinating panel created by the bill. It held its first meeting on October 1.

BEN BERNANKE, FEDERAL RESERVE CHAIRMAN

The Federal Reserve remains the chief regulator of big banks under Dodd-Frank. The Fed weathered sharp criticism earlier this year on Capitol Hill for failing to spot and prevent the financial crisis of 2007-09.

The stoic, bearded Bernanke, 56, chairs the U.S. central bank. A former Princeton University professor, he will set the tone for the Fed’s handling of more than 50 rulemakings mandated under Dodd-Frank.

SHEILA BAIR, FEDERAL DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORP CHAIRMAN

Popular in Congress, the outspoken, unflappable Bair has a crucial job under Dodd-Frank — setting up a new “orderly liquidation” process for financial firms in deep distress.

A self-described moderate Republican, Bair, 56, was appointed by former President George W. Bush. Like Bernanke, she was formerly an academic, having also worked at the Treasury Department, the New York Stock Exchange and on Capitol Hill. Her term expires in 2011.

GARY GENSLER, COMMODITY FUTURES TRADING COMMISSION

CHAIRMAN

Once a champion of financial deregulation earlier in his career, the scrappy and angular Gensler is heading the CFTC’s effort to write dozens of Dodd-Frank regulations.

The agency is in the lead on the government’s first effort to police the over-the-counter derivatives market, including credit default swaps like the ones that brought down AIG.

A former Goldman Sachs partner and Treasury official, Gensler, 53, must work closely with his counterpart at the Securities and Exchange Commission on several fronts.

MARY SCHAPIRO, SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION CHAIRMAN

Like Gensler, Schapiro, 55, has a full plate of rulemakings and studies to tackle in implementing Dodd-Frank at the SEC.

The agency will be expanding its oversight of hedge funds and credit rating agencies, while taking on new duties policing the derivatives markets and private equity firms.

ELIZABETH WARREN, WHITE HOUSE ADVISER

Tapped by Obama to lead the creation of a new financial consumer watchdog, Warren, 61, is a Harvard Law School professor and a fierce critic of Wall Street.

Her plans for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, to be set up as an independent unit inside the Federal Reserve, are being closely monitored by the financial sector.

Factbox: Election may shift Wall St regulatory overhaul players