Friday, July 16, 2010

Dodd-Frank Financial "Reform"

On a 60-39 Senate vote, Dodd-Frank passed yesterday.

I am still searching in vain for one independent voice out there who finds this latest regulatory boondoggle to be positive.  Then suddenly, this morning I found one -- mind you with tongue firmly planted in cheek.  The Heritage Foundation thinks with one stroke of his pen that President Obama without intending to do it has created more jobs than ever before in the eighteen months of his presidency.

The bill does not bode well for entrepreneurs and small businesses, the backbone of the American economy, however:

"Entrepreneurs take a double hit in the Dodd-Frank bill. First, by forcing banks to raise more capital it will now be more difficult for them to make new loans for small businesses. But more important is the regulatory threat for new products. Across the world mobile device and telecommunications firms are beginning to compete against credit card companies and banks to reshape how consumers buy products and manage their finances. Will the Dodd-Frank Consumer Financial Protection Bureau even allow these services to come to market? Will cell phone firms have to be regulated exactly like financial firms? Nobody knows the answer to these questions. Here is what we do know: it will be the banks and telco firms with the best lawyers and lobbyists – not the best entrepreneurs – that come out on top in this battle."

The Heritage analysis continues:

"Then there is what the Dodd-Frank does not do: it does nothing to stop future government bailouts. Instead, it makes the TARP bailout system permanent. The bill’s “orderly liquidation” process empowers regulators to seize any firm they deem a threat to our financial system and liquidate them. These powers are subject to insufficient judicial review and do nothing to ensure that the firms’ creditors won’t receive 100% of their irresponsibly lent money back in future taxpayer funded bailouts. And speaking of taxpayer-funded bailouts, the bill does nothing to address Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, whose activities were instrumental to the financial crisis."

Most telling is the "job creation" reality associated with this monstronsity:

". . . the Dodd-Frank financial regulation bill set in motion 243 new formal rule-makings by 11 different federal agencies. Each of the 243 rule-makings will employ hundreds of banking lobbyists as they try to shape what the final actual laws will look like. And when the rules are finally written, thousands of lawyers will bill millions of hours as the richest incumbent financial firms that caused the last crisis figure out how to game the new system. Yesterday, the Washington law firm Jones Day snapped up the Securities and Exchange Commission head enforcement division lawyer, and J.P. Morgan Chase, one of the biggest U.S. banks by assets, assigned more than 100 teams to examine the legislation. University of Massachusetts political science professor Thomas Ferguson tells The Christian Science Monitor:

"By delegating so much to the regulators, Congress is inviting everyone interested in the outcome to make more campaign contributions, as they intervene in the regulatory process to influence the regulators. Nothing is settled. It’s a gold mine for members of Congress."

So once again, we have a bill entitled "Reform" that is anything but . . .  I wonder if anyone "out there" even cares or realizes how potentially devastating this action will yet prove to be.  I hope and pray I'm dead wrong.

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