Securities Law Prof Blog

Editor: Eric C. Chaffee
Univ. of Toledo College of Law

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Debate on Pace of Dodd-Frank Reform

Treasury Deputy Secretary Neal S. Wolin addressed criticisms of Dodd-Frank reform efforts today in prepared remarks made at the Pew Charitable Trusts:

Last summer, the President signed into law a comprehensive set of reforms to the financial system.
But as the important work of implementation proceeds, critics of the Dodd-Frank Act have engaged in a broad set of attacks against the law and its implementation.
            * * *
Some complain about the pace of reform.
Some say that there’s a lack of coordination by the regulators. 
Some argue that transparency in the derivatives markets will harm liquidity, or that margin requirements will unnecessarily tie up capital.  
Some complain that our reforms will unfairly disadvantage U.S. firms as they compete globally. 
Some say the new consumer agency will stifle consumer choice and innovation, that it will interfere with existing regulators, or that it’s not accountable to anyone.
And some even say we can’t afford to pay for reform. 
I want to address these criticisms one by one.

SIFMA, in turn, issued a response that stated, in part:

Implementation of the Dodd-Frank Act is too important not to be done right for the sake of meeting arbitrary deadlines.  SIFMA shares the same goal as Secretary Wolin: full implementation of the Dodd-Frank Act, so to bring greater clarity, oversight, and confidence to our markets and financial institutions that play a key role in America’s economic growth and job creation.

Financial Services Committee Chairman Spencer Bachus issued the following comment in response to Deputy Treasury Secretary Neal Wolin’s remarks: 

All of us know that on the highway ‘speed kills.’  Speed can also kill jobs when Washington rushes sweeping regulations into place without giving the public adequate time to comment. The comment period for Dodd-Frank rules has sometimes been barely 30 days.  At the current breakneck pace, it is difficult for individual firms – especially small businesses – and the public at large to meaningfully participate and offer their insights and observations.  The implementation of the massive Dodd-Frank Act may be daunting for regulators, it may be intimidating for them, but that’s no excuse to limit the public’s participation and abandon sound rulemaking practices.”

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