The OLA is a new bankruptcy-type provision included in Dodd-Frank that gives the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation the authority to resolve insolvent systemic financial institutions (think future Lehman-like episodes). It allows the FDIC to borrow funds from the Treasury to support the liquidation of such firms with the proviso that in the event of any losses, fees will be levied on bank holding companies and other financial institutions to fully reimburse the Treasury. This authority is a wholly rational response to the gaping hole in our financial architecture evinced by the catastrophic Lehman failure, where policymakers’ only alternatives were uncontrolled bankruptcy or taxpayer-financed bailout. Had it been in place in 2008, much carnage could have been avoided.
So, much is wrong with eliminating OLA in order to get about $20bn in CBO-blessed revenue.
Larry Summers is right here. This is dry but worth a read.