Repeal of Dodd-Frank?

Most compliance professionals have trepidation about parts of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. I would bet that most of the Representatives and Senators who voted for it (and against it) did not read the whole law and do not understand the changes being made.

But should it be repealed in it’s entirety?

Since the Republicans have taken over the House of Representatives there is growing backlash against the law. Take a look at the new Republican-authored House Committee on Financial Services website. Here are the headline topics:

  • Collateral Damage – the real impact of the Democrat’s bailout bid
  • Financial Regulatory Reform
  • Fannie and Freddie Reform
  • What’s NOT in the Dod-Frank?
  • What’s Really in Dodd-Frank?

Along with the changes to the website comes a H.R. 87: To repeal the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act from Representative Bachman:

“I’m pleased to offer a full repeal of the job-killing Dodd-Frank financial regulatory bill. Dodd-Frank grossly expanded the federal government beyond its jurisdictional boundaries. It gave Washington bureaucrats the power to interpret and enforce the legislation with little oversight.

“Dodd-Frank also failed to address the taxpayer-funded liabilities of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Real financial regulatory reform must deal with these lenders who were a leading cause of our economic recession.”

Speaking personally, I don’t like Dodd-Frank. But repealing it would be worse. I think needs the SEC needs more funding and a longer time frame to promulgate the new regulations. The SEC normal produces just a handful of new rules each year. Dodd-Frank tasks them with dozens that need to be in place in the next few months.

As for Fannie Fae and Freddie Mac being the cause of the crisis, I think Representative Bachman should take the time to read All the Devils Are Here by Bethany McLean and Joe Nocera. (I’m halfway through it.) Fannie and Freddie played a role, but lots of things went wrong to get us into the trouble of 2008.

Putting companies into a limbo of whether they need to change or not is bad. I may not like the law, but uncertainty is worse.

On the other hand, I think the repeal is unlikely. It’s merely a political football to throw around.