The 2010 Dodd-Frank Reform and Consumer Protection Act, more commonly referred to as “Dodd-Frank”, was passed in 2010 in response to the financial crisis, establishing new regulatory agencies tasked with overseeing the banking system.
With a new administration underway, reports indicate that the President will direct new Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to investigate Dodd-Frank reform. The reports indicate that Mnuchin will review regulators’ authority to unwind a bank on the brink of failure, as well as their ability to label nonbank firms (including insurance companies, hedge funds, and private equity institutions) as “risky.”
Treasury Secretary to Investigate Dodd-Frank Reform
According to the White House schedule, Trump is expected to sign an executive order asking Mnuchin to review any tax regulations issued in the past year that are deemed burdensome to American taxpayers or that are too complex.
A priority for this administration has been to loosen current regulations in an attempt to drive growth and stimulate the economy. (Whether any such changes would help or hurt investors or the economy is yet to be seen.) As a part of the executive order, Mnuchin will be tasked with completing his review within 180 days regarding whether an improved bankruptcy authority would be a better alternative for failing companies, and whether regulators who have such powers create excessive costs for taxpayers or lead banks to take larger risks.
Mnuchin is on the record as stating that he has concerns about the current legislation, but that he does not want to support a “too-big-to-fail” policy, which some current GOP members take issue with. Regardless, it is likely that some changes to the current bankruptcy code will be proposed.
Dodd-Frank Reform and the Future
We will continue to blog about any changes as this new administration appears intent on changing course from the previous one. Until then, all current rules and regulations surrounding Dodd-Frank will remain in place.
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