"The Obama administration said all parts relate to the other parts, and they should be in one bill," he says. "I think some in Congress think a big bill is too hard to get done. But they don't want to go back to their districts not passing any legislation after the nation suffered the worst financial crisis since the Depression. My current view is we'll have a bill, but that it won't be comprehensive."

Others agree. "I think we'll see some things get done, but it'll probably be more down the path of least resistance," says Duane Thompson, who recently left his job as managing director of the Financial Planning Association's Washington, D.C., office. "They'll probably make some progress with the so-called regulatory gaps to make sure they spot warning signs before the next big implosion. But when it comes to the nitty-gritty, including how investment advisors and broker-dealers are regulated, that'll probably be ongoing for the next couple of years."

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