Remaking the financial system does not require any new laws

Source: Graham Steele, The American Prospect

The Trump administration didn’t really need congressional action to realize its deregulatory agenda, though some lawmakers were willing to do Wall Street’s bidding anyway. Witness regulators’ recent gutting of the Volcker Rule, the ban on banks engaging in risky and speculative trading that was one of the few structural reforms contained in Dodd-Frank, a change regulators made on their own.

There are two important lessons from this experience. One is that remaking the financial system does not need new laws. Congress has delegated so much authority over the financial sector to watchdog agencies that experts questioned whether they even needed new legal authority to overhaul the industry after the 2008 financial crisis. The second is that tinkering around the margins is insufficient. A new presidential administration needs to use that authority to go big and change the fundamental structure of Wall Street.

 

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