Last week, as various press outlets tried to gauge the meaning of Chris Dodd’s upcoming retirement for financial regulatory reform, we noted that The Wall Street Journal’s Damian Paletta had provided standout coverage. The passage of some legislation in advance of the mid-terms was still possible, and perhaps even more likely, Paletta’s story made clear. But the prospects for strong reform along the lines of Dodd’s initial proposal—including a new consumer protection agency—were likely diminished.

Today, via Ryan Chittum’s excellent Twitter feed, I see that Paletta has advanced the story:

Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd is considering scrapping the idea of creating a Consumer Financial Protection Agency, people familiar with the matter said, an initiative at the heart of the White House’s proposal to revamp financial-sector regulations.

The Connecticut Democrat, who announced this month that he wouldn’t run for re-election this year, has discussed the possibility of abandoning the push for a new agency during negotiations with key Senate Republicans as a way to secure a bipartisan deal on the legislation, these people said.

There’s more good analysis lower in the piece about how Dodd’s retirement may have shifted the political calculus, plus detail on what some alternative regulatory approaches might be and how resistance from specific Democrats is helping to drive the outcome. Read the whole thing here.

UPDATE: For a very different take on the earlier stories about Dodd and reform, see Noam Scheiber at TNR.com.

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Greg Marx is a CJR staff writer. Follow him on Twitter @gregamarx.