H-D leading the pack of OEMs opposing financial reform

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Harley-Davidson has joined a group of industrial organizations that are fighting to rework the legislative language in the pending financial reform bill.

Others in the coalition include candy maker Mars, eBay, Caterpillar and General Electric, all claiming it would inadvertently harm their businesses. Keep in mind that General Electric has a finance arm, H-D has Harley-Davidson Financial Services, and eBay owns PayPal – all of which perform banking-type activities.

The reform bill, as currently constituted, runs over 1,400 pages long, and proposes, among other measures, a council of regulators to identify companies that have leveraged themselves to dangerous points that threaten the broader financial system, according to Industryweek.

A business so identified could be forced into liquidation or boosting capital reserves, according to a report in The Washington Post.

Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) has proposed an amendment that would exempt any companies that earn less than 85% of their revenues from financial services, from the regulations.

The provision has won praise from the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, who point to Harley-Davidson, John Deere and Caterpillar.

Auto dealers are also seeking an exemption from from a provision that would treat them as lending institutions under the new regulations, arguing they are only middlemen.

Posted by Holly Wagner