-- While there appears to be ample regulatory firepower in the oversight parts of the bailout law, it remains to be seen how strongly regulators and lawmakers wield their power.
"The real test will be how individuals involved in oversight choose to exercise their authority," says Matthew Jacobs, a former federal prosecutor now at McDermott Will & Emery.
The bill establishes oversight by Congress, the Treasury Department's Office of the Comptroller and a new Financial Stability Oversight Board to be run by the Treasury Secretary, the Federal Reserve chairman, the Securities and Exchange Commission chairman and others.
But the bill was passed so quickly, with so little study, that "there almost certainly will be potential for fraud and abuse," Jacobs says.
Critics say letting Wall Street police itself led to the mortgage crisis. Business leaders worry that the government overreacts in crises.
In a client note, law firm Gibson Dunn says "the potential for these oversight entities to trip over each other. .. is great." A Heritage Foundation analysis warns new powers given the Treasury Secretary may be unconstitutional.