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Critics Blast Dodd-Frank Rollback Bill

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Critics on Tuesday of the House passage of the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act (S.2155) worry that the Dodd-Frank rollback bill will trigger another financial crisis.

Phil Angelides, former chairman of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, which conducted the nation’s official inquiry into the causes of the 2008 financial crisis, said late Tuesday that the bill rolls back “key financial reforms put in place in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis,” once again putting “our nation’s financial system, economy and taxpayers at significant risk.”

House passage of the bill by a 258-159 vote, coupled with President Donald Trump’s “embrace of financial deregulation and his appointment of regulators committed to the deregulatory agenda, will open the door to reckless risk taking on Wall Street,” Angelides said.

The legislation now moves to the president’s desk, with Trump expected to sign it as soon as the end of this week.

“All attention will now shift towards the Fed to see how they tailor their regulations to adjust to the new legislative framework,” said Ed Mills, policy analyst for Raymond James, in his Washington Policy commentary on Wednesday.

S. 2155 raises the threshold for banks to be considered systemically important from $50 billion to $250 billion, increases the threshold for annual stress tests from $10 billion to $250 billion, among a number of other provisions aimed at regulatory relief for community and regional banks, Mills explained.

Next up for Trump’s deregulatory moves, Mills said, is Senate confirmation of Jelena McWilliams as chairwoman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. — as soon as Wednesday — “completing the confirmation process of the Trump federal bank regulatory team and setting the stage for an increase in bank deregulatory actions going forward.”

Kurt Schacht, managing director of standards and advocacy for the CFA Institute, said Wednesday that “while this legislation continues oversight for most of the too-big-to-fail banks, the real systemic problem remains: the potential to overlook truly devastating impacts of “traditional” banking like we saw leading up to the 2008 crisis. We are not prepared for the next financial crisis, much less prepared to roll back critical defenses.”

House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling told Politico Live recently that passage of the legislation would “be the most significant pro-growth banking reform since Graham-Leach-Bliley.”

The Republican lawmaker from Texas, who’s not seeking re-election, opined that S.2155 doesn’t go far enough in its capital formation attempts, so he’ll be pushing for a “JOBS 3.0” (Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act) follow-up package to hit the House floor in the summer.

Industry groups also applauded passage of the Senior Safe Act as part of the Dodd-Frank package.

The House took a “significant step forward in the prevention of elder financial abuse by passing the Senior Safe Act,” said Dale Brown, president and CEO of the Financial Services Institute. “Financial advisors and financial services firms are often the first to detect possible financial abuse, so it is critical that they have proper training to identify potential abuse as well as the ability to report it without fear of violating privacy laws.”

FSI, Brown said, strongly urges Trump “to sign this important legislation into law in a timely manner to help further protect our nation’s seniors from financial abuse.”

— Check out A ‘Vicious,’ Fed-Fueled Economic Crisis Is Coming, Ex-Goldman Banker Warns on ThinkAdvisor.


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