BUSINESS

Chris Dodd: Wall Street Launching 'False Attacks' Against Financial Reform

10/25/2011 12:37 pm ET | Updated Dec 25, 2011

A key author of financial regulatory reform is fighting back against a powerful chorus of critics.

Former U.S. Senator Chris Dodd, the co-author of the Dodd-Frank financial regulation overhaul, wrote an op-ed for the Washington Post published Friday, maintaining that Dodd-Frank is essential for protecting the economy from another destructive financial crisis.

"Critics are launching false attacks against the law in an effort to undermine it," Dodd wrote.

Dodd lambasted charges by some conservatives that Dodd-Frank is already hurting small businesses and the economy. Instead, he says, regulatory reforms actually protect small businesses by shielding them from another wealth-destroying crisis, rather than "again leave Americans at the mercy of those who have already ripped off too many families and businesses."

Wall Street has aggressively lobbied regulators to weaken the Dodd-Frank regulations since its passage. Just this year they have spent more than $100 million on lobbying to water down financial regulations, according to The New York Times. And with hundreds of rules mandated by Dodd-Frank have yet to be written, banks continue to try to take advantage of every opportunity to do so.

Critics allege that regulators have already diluted the Volcker rule, previously one of the toughest regulations in Dodd-Frank, by making various exemptions for banks to make trades using their own money.

"Unless they're actually embedded in banks, they may have a great deal of trouble determining whether permissible or banned activities are going on," Andrew Tuch, fellow at Harvard Law School, told The Huffington Post.

Meanwhile, some Congressional Republicans, including Minnesotta Congresswoman and Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann, have pushed to repeal Dodd-Frank altogether.

Although that proposal fell flat in Congress, the chorus of criticism has continued to grow, with other Republican presidential candidates such as Newt Gingrich, Herman Cain, and even the frontrunner Mitt Romney saying they would repeal Dodd-Frank if elected president, according to The Washington Post and The Boston Globe.

In spite of calls to repeal Dodd-Frank altogether, some champions of financial regulation have said that the reforms in the bill don't go far enough to curb risky bets at too-big-to-fail financial institutions.

"I think Dodd-Frank was close to as good as we could get, but it's nowhere near what we need," former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker said recently.

Suggest a correction