Obama to regulators: Can we please get this Dodd-Frank show on the road?

As The Hill so aptly reminded us this morning, President Obama has overseen a “dramatic expansion of the regulatory state” and that the Code of Federal Regulations “has ballooned from 71,224 pages in 1975 to 174,545 pages last year,” further “solidifying the power of bureaucrats who churn out regulations that touch nearly every aspect of American life and business.”

But don’t you worry, ’cause he’s just getting started.

I bemoaned shortly after the election last November that President Obama’s second term meant the strengthened staying power of the Dodd-Frank and all of its accompanying uncertainty and economic damage — and despite his first term of heavy big-law helping to keep the economy in stagnation mode, he’d really like his financial team to get a move on, if you don’t mind. Via the Financial Times:

Barack Obama urged the top US financial regulators to speed up the implementation of regulations associated with the 2010 Wall Street reform bill, which have stalled amid disagreements between agencies and intense lobbying by big banks. …

“The president commended the regulators for their work but stressed the need to expeditiously finish implementing the critical remaining portions of Wall Street reform to ensure we are able to prevent the type of financial harm that led to the Great Recession from ever happening again,” the White House said after the meeting. …

Detractors of Dodd-Frank, especially Republicans in Congress, mocked Mr Obama’s efforts to nudge regulators towards completing their work.

“Dodd-Frank is a complex piece of legislation that is harmful to our floundering economy and in dire need of repeal,” said Jeb Hensarling, chairman of the Financial Services Committee in the House of Representatives and a Texas Republican. “ A meeting between the president and an army of regulators will not strengthen America’s economy. What’s needed to give Americans the healthier economy they deserve is greater personal financial opportunity, prudent capital and liquidity standards, greater transparency and market discipline,” Mr Hensarling added. …

Indeed. President Obama and his fellow liberal populists are exceedingly fond of blaming the entire financial crisis on those big, greedy banks and playing the role of the Great Tamers of Wall Street, but they always somehow neglect to mention the role played by a wildly, intrusively huge federal government that created perverse incentives and tampered with market signals. But, whatever — more major unilateral regulatory moves, please! Just what the economy needs!

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David Strom 6:01 PM on February 01, 2023