What's at stake in the 2012 presidential election

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Wall Street Regulation
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Wall Street Regulation
Specialist Paul Cosentino, right, directs trading in shares of Regions Financial Corp. on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. The debate over banking rules is, at its core, a dispute about how to prevent another economic cataclysm. The financial crisis that peaked in 2008 touched off a global economic slowdown. Four years later, the recovery remains painfully slow. After the crisis, Congress passed a sprawling overhaul of banking rules and oversight. The law gives regulators new tools to shutter banks without resorting to emergency bailouts. It restricts risky lending and establishes a new agency to protect consumers from misleading marketing and other traps. The new rules also boost companies' costs, according to Romney and many in the business community. Romney believes the law is prolonging the nation's economic agony by making it harder for companies to invest and grow. He has pledged to repeal it. Obama fought for and supports the law.