Nearly two years after the American financial system teetered on the edge of a great Republican depression, Congressional lawmakers have come to an agreement early Friday morning to reconcile competing versions of the the bill in the biggest overhaul of financial regulations since the last Republican Great Depression. Big banks won big in this, as they can continue investing a significant amount of equity in hedge funds. The banks lost when it comes to speculative trades with their capital, although there are some loopholes that may turn into truck routes. The bottom line seems that, much like the so-called health insurance reform, there are a few really good bones in here thrown to consumers but the power, wealth, and monopoly of the big banks that, as Senator Byron Dorgan said of the US Senate, "They own this place," continue to own the Senate as well as you and me. There are no efforts whatsoever in the bill to do the single most important thing necessary to return competition to banking and prevent another economic collapse - that being breaking up the too-big-to-fail banking institutions and require banks to just be banks instead of bank/casino hybrids. Just like the so-called "health insurance reform" will actually give more power and money to the dozen or so monopoly US for-profit health insurance blood sucking leeches...er...corporations and their CEOs, this so-called "banking reform" bill will give more power and money to the half-dozen largest and monopolistic US banks and keep the billion-dollar bonus paydays coming to their CEOs and senior executives and traders.