Economy

House GOP backs bill to undo much of Dodd-Frank

House GOP backs bill to undo much of Dodd-Frank

The main target of the Financial Choice Act is a set of rules introduced after the financial crisis, in the form of a law known as the Dodd-Frank Act.

The GOP-led bill, called the Financial Choice Act, is unlikely to become law as it isn't expected to earn enough support in the Senate.

After the 2008 financial crisis, Congress passed Dodd-Frank with the express intention to reign in excesses in the financial system that created "Too Big to Fail", the phenomenon of banks becoming so large and intertwined that their failures could take down the entire US economy. "It will be the culmination of a lot of good work by a lot of good people".

"The sponsors of the bill are well aware that bank bailouts are unpopular and so they try to perpetuate this notion that Dodd-Frank perpetuates bailouts - it's simply nonsense", Carter Dougherty, communications director for Americans for Financial Reform, an organization dedicated to safe and consumer friendly banking, said in an interview.

He said his bill would offer "economic opportunity for all and bank bailouts for none", end the "too big to fail" era and "replace Dodd-Frank's growth-strangling regulations on community banks and credit unions with reforms that expand access to capital so small businesses can create jobs and consumers have more choices and options when it comes to credit".

So they pass the CHOICE Act, and it falls into the ether, and they can say to their lobbyist pals that they tried. One of the things the real estate industry has seen is that, since the Great Recession, banks are playing a very small role in construction and permanent financing with hedge funds, private equity funds and foreign capital taking an ever increasing role due to the restrictions on lending contained in Dodd-Frank. The financial crisis that spawned Dodd-Frank was caused, in large part, by risky, sometimes illegal, activities by the largest Wall Street Banks.

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The CFPB also would be reconstituted and renamed, with the director appointed by the president and the agency losing much of its power. "That means if your grandmother gets conned into a payday loan, or if your cousin in the military has an account and their lending institution decides they want to open a fraudulent account in their name, their recourses are severely limited". The FDIC and the Fed are the two regulators responsible for overseeing this requirement under the 2010 law.

"We are putting taxpayers again in harm's way", said New York Democrat Carolyn Maloney, speaking on the House floor on Wednesday.

Hensarling's bill would also eliminate orderly liquidation authority - the process through which the federal government takes over and dismantles a major bank before it collapses - and place strict limits on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

The replacement in the House has been authored by Texas Rep. Jeb Hensarling, the chairman of the Financial Services Committee.

Should the House bill pass, its destiny will be in the hands of the Senate.

Barney Frank, the former United States congressman from MA who was an architect of the Dodd-Frank law, said he thinks there is bipartisan willingness to provide relief for smaller institutions. "What a package would look like I don't necessarily know", he said, referring questions to Crapo. With just 52 Republican senators, the GOP majority is too small to overcome a Democratic filibuster. Rather, they expect the upper chamber to advance a separate regulatory relief bill of their own.

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Interestingly, Dodd-Frank totally ignored the role that Congress played in causing the Financial Crisis. The landscape is far different in the Senate, where Democrats have the votes to block it.

The House Rules Committee rejected several Democratic amendments, including one that would get rid of the measure's provision to repeal the Labor Department's conflict-of-interest rule for retirement investment advisers, also known as the fiduciary rule.

It's unclear whether the largest banks would take advantage of the regulatory offramp, even if they did maintain the required leverage ratio.

Weaken the power of the Financial Stability Oversight Council, the risk monitor that approves the risk designations in order give authority back to the existing bank regulators.

On Monday evening, the president tapped Joseph Otting, a former colleague of Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin at OneWest to run the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.

The law addressed the problem of big bank failure using a number of mechanisms.

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