WASHINGTON ( TheStreet) -- Anti-Wall Street rhetoric features prominently in the race to represent Ohio in the U.S. Senate, with the Republican and Democrat candidates both trying to score points on the bailout backlash front.
There's trumped up, populist propaganda aplenty on both sides. Democrat Lee Fisher blasts the "reckless abandon" of Wall Street while Republican Rob Portman spouts off about "greed and lack of accountability" of the bankers.
Looking past all this noise, there are actually some pretty clear differences in what these two politicians are proposing to do to Wall Street. Fisher talks tough about breaking up the big banks and blocking bonuses, while Portman expresses concern about preserving bank competiveness even as he hammers on the need for tighter regulation and greater transparency.
Fisher wants to reinstate the law separating investment trading and commercial deposit banking. This would hit banks like JPMorgan Chase (JPM) and Bank of America (BAC), which became even more deeply engaged in investment banking when they took over some of their struggling peers in the heat of the financial meltdown. JPMorgan bought Bear Stearns and Bank of America bought Merrill Lynch.Portman supports greater banking scrutiny, but he also warns that "Congress should not impose overly burdensome regulations that will forfeit banking business to overseas competitors." Portman favors "reasonable risk/capital rules" for investment and commercial banking and more rules to govern the kinds of derivatives impugned during the mortgage meltdown. There are two companies, however, that Portman wants to cut down in size: Fannie Mae (FNMA) and Freddie Mac (FMCC). He supports measures to reduce their size "to ensure they do not contribute to a future financial crisis."
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