The chances that the Senate would produce bipartisan financial reform legislation seemed to grow longer with each passing minute at the mid-November hearing at which Sen. Richard C. Shelby (R-Ala.) read 2,600 words of scornful disapproval for the draft bill circulated by Sen. Christopher J. Dodd (D-Conn.).

As Dodd jokingly thanked Shelby for his support, the differences between the two men appeared vast and fundamental.

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