There’s been a lot of action on Capitol Hill lately—and, of course, lots of talk—about various provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act. Lawmakers (particularly Republicans) are questioning whether the law is deficient. The main question they agree on is whether regulators are taking appropriate steps—and enough time—to ensure that all angles are considered and that appropriate cost-benefit analyses have been conducted as agencies race to implement dozens of provisions required by the new law.
Among other favorites, the current headline concerns are derivatives and swaps regulation, whether private equity firms should be required to register with the SEC as part of the “private fund advisor” requirements, and whether the Consumer Protection Financial Bureau (CFPB) and Elizabeth Warren have too much unfettered power.
But if you think all of this will lead to a wholesale repeal of Dodd-Frank, you are sadly mistaken, at least until another national election is held in 2012. The simple fact of the matter is that Democrats, who voted for the Dodd-Frank law, still control the Senate (albeit by a slimmer margin than a few short months ago). Don’t forget that President Obama has the extremely powerful tool of exercising his veto authority. In addition, folks understand that “normal” Americans have nagging concerns about the 2008 financial meltdown and that getting rid of the law touted to “reform” Wall Street shenanigans could be politically unpopular. So while you will see Republicans in the House moving forward to approve bills that delay, revise or even repeal elements of Dodd-Frank, that’s a far cry from enacting final legislation…
However, what Republicans on both sides of Capitol Hill have accomplished is slowing down the Dodd-Frank train. The “let’s-slow-it-down-to-get-it-right” rhetoric has a lot of appeal.
For example, at a session last week to approve a bill delaying implementation of swaps/derivatives regulations in Dodd-Frank, Frank Lucas, (R-Okla.), chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, said that, “efforts of Dodd-Frank to increase transparency