The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act Essay

The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act brought the most significant changes to financial regulation in the United States since the reform that followed the Great Depression. It made changes in the American financial regulatory environment that affect all federal financial regulatory agencies and almost every part of the nation’s financial services industry. Like Glass-Steagall, the legislation passed after the Great Depression, it sought to regulate the financial markets and make another economic crisis less likely. Banks were deregulated in 1999 by the Gramm-Leach-Biley Act, which repealed the Glass-Steagall Act and essentially allowed for the excessive risk taken on by banks that caused the most recent financial crisis. The Financial Stability Oversight Council was established through the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act and was created to address the systemic risks in the United States financial system and to improve coordination among financial regulators.The presence of systemic risk in the current United States financial system is undeniable. Systemic risks exist when the failure of one firm may topple others and destabilize the entire financial system. The firm is then “too big to fail,” or perhaps more precisely, “too interconnected to fail.” The Federal Stability Oversight Council is charged with identifying systemic risks and gaps in regulation, making recommendations to regulators to address threats to financial stability, and promoting market discipline by eliminating the expectation that the US federal government will come to the assistance of firms in financial distress. Systemic risks can come through multiple forms, including counterparty risk on other financial …

…d an intolerable level of systemic risk. The signing of the Volcker Rule by President Obama after much heated debate led the way for the discussion of the Lincoln Amendment. This piece of legislation proposed the idea of limiting bank derivate transactions to separately capitalized affiliates whose failure would presumably be less likely to cause a systemic crisis (pg. 198).The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act’s policies haven’t really been implemented to the extent that regulators would have liked. Although the legislation takes many steps in addressing systematic risks in the United States financial system and improving coordination among regulators, some critics believe that alternative options might have been more effective. The coming years will give us a better understanding of how well the Dodd-Frank Act addressed these concerns.

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