There is apparently still a small chance that the financial regulatory mess threatening us could still be derailed

It all depends on Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.). He got in an exemption that fit what the banks in his states do.

For a senator from the minority party who has served for all of six months, Brown influenced the bill like he was an Old Bull. He solidified his standing as the go-to Republican moderate for the Democratic leadership, a coy and intermittently frustrating but increasingly important player in Capitol Hill negotiations.

“I’m probably the deciding vote again,” he boasted in an interview Thursday with the Boston Globe.

Talk about constituent service. Brown even managed to get one over on former Fed Chairman Paul Volcker — by driving the effort to build exemptions into the Volcker Rule that helps State Street and other Massachusetts banks.

Volcker wanted to effectively ban banks from trading with their own money — because big losses could mean guaranteed taxpayer bailouts. Brown helped win the right for banks nationwide to invest three percent of their equity in hedge funds and private equity funds.

Now, Ted Kennedy’s replacement is once again hinting he could bail on the bill over a $19 billion levy on the financial industry added at the last minute. . . .

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