Sunday, July 21, 2013

Whither Dodd-Frank?

Wonkblog @ WaPo:
Sunday is the third anniversary of the Dodd-Frank Act. To get a sense of how
implementation has been going, I asked 16 people at the forefront of the debate to answer two questions: What has gone better than you had expected? And what has gone worse? – Mike Konczal

Sheila C. Bair served as the 19th chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. for a five-year term, from June 2006 through June 2011.

“Things that went better than expected: just about all of the rules where an agency could act alone, e.g., the FDIC’s rules on resolution authority and deposit insurance premiums; the CFPB’s rules on mortgage lending standards; the CFTC’s rules on moving standardized domestic swaps to centralized clearing.

“Things that were bigger problems than expected: just about all of the rules where inter-agency coordination and agreement were required: e.g. tougher bank capital standards, the Volcker Rule, risk retention for securitizers. Between agency squabbling and industry lobbying, Sisyphus could move faster than the agencies in moving these rules.”

Michael S. Barr is a  professor of Law at the University of Michigan Law School and former assistant secretary of the treasury for financial institutions, where he was a key architect of the Dodd-Frank Act.

“The opponents of financial reform are losing. There’s a strong, new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, looking out for American households, and Senate Republicans finally relented and confirmed, by a lopsided vote, Rich Cordray as director of the bureau.

Capital requirements are going up, derivatives are coming out of the shadows and major financial firms will be subject to strict supervision and wind-down authority regardless of corporate form. But much remains to be done, from LIBOR reform to the Volcker Rule, and the financial industry will continue to try to lobby, litigate and legislate their way out of the tough new rules. Now is not the time to lose hope, stop fighting or give in, but to renew the commitment to making the financial system fairer and safer.”