Regulation and Compliance > Federal Regulation

How the American Public Feels About Financial Regulation

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President Donald Trump moved quickly to stop the Department of Labor’s implementation of the fiduciary rule, signing an executive order during his second week in office.

The American public, however, isn’t so sure this is a good idea.

Pew Research Center reported this week that 49% of Americans in a recent survey said “the government has not gone far enough in regulating financial institutions and markets, leaving the country at risk of another financial crisis.”

In the same survey, 42% said the government had overstepped, “making it harder for the economy to grow.”

Pew said these views were largely unchanged over the past several years.

Princeton Data Source conducted telephone interviews in early February among a national sample of 1,503 adults, 18 and older, living the 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia.

The research showed that 63% of Republicans and Republican leaners in the poll said the government had gone too far with financial regulations. Sixty-two percent of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents said regulations had not gone far enough.

Tyler Cowen, who teaches economics at George Mason University, and Noah Smith, an assistant professor of finance at Stony Brook University, recently debated whether Dodd-Frank was worth saving.

Pew’s survey found differences in views of financial regulations by age and education.

Fifty-two percent of Americans younger than 30 asserted that the government had not gone far enough in regulating financial institutions, while just 33% said it had gone far enough.

Divisions among older people in the sample were less stark:

  • 30–49: too far, 41%; not far enough, 52%
  • 50–64: too far, 47%; not far enough, 48%
  • 65+: too far, 46%; not far enough, 40%

Fifty-six percent of respondents with at least a four-year college degree and 52% with some college education considered the government’s regulation of financial institutions insufficient.

By comparison, 41% of respondents with a high school diploma or less said the same thing, while 51% of these said the government had overregulated financial institutions.

— Check out Ron Rhoades: DOL Fiduciary Rule Is as Good as Dead (for Now) on ThinkAdvisor.