It has almost been a year since President Obama signed into law the landmark Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, a comprehensive set of initiatives designed to fix the flaws in America’s financial system, strengthen the long-term health of the economy, and safeguard American consumers.
As the law’s one year anniversary approaches, Treasury is moving quickly but carefully to implement its reforms. On Monday, Deputy Secretary Neal Wolin wrote about this in a Politico op-ed:
“A year ago, our challenge was to enact reform on behalf of the American people — to enact real reform that addressed real problems. Today, our challenge is to make sure these reforms remain robust, long-lasting and dynamic.” Read the op-ed.
The reforms included in Dodd-Frank were enacted in the wake of the most devastating financial crisis since the Great Depression. In the depths of the crisis, the economy was shedding an average of 800,000 jobs per month. American families lost trillions in savings and equity. Credit was frozen. Financial markets were barely functioning.
Assistant Secretary Mary Miller discussed the necessity of Wall Street Reform at SIFMA’s Regulatory Reform Summit on Wednesday. She also spoke about the past year of progress in reforming our financial markets, what lies ahead, and the importance of implementing these new rules of the road to drive economic growth and stability.
“As we work to carry out the Dodd-Frank Act, we are mindful that in order for the U.S. to remain a desirable place to invest, we must put in place a framework that restores integrity in our financial markets and engenders the trust and confidence of not just Americans, but also investors around the world. The reputation of our financial system is at stake.” Read her full remarks.
Over the pa/st year, Treasury has worked diligently to implement these landmark reforms, including efforts to stand up the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and the Office of Financial Research (OFR).
On Thursday, Senior Advisor Elizabeth Warren testified before Congress where she highlighted just a portion of the work done to stand up the CFPB, including the Know Before You Owe Mortgage Disclosure Project and the establishment of the Office of Servicemember Affairs. She told the committee:
“We think every consumer should have the information they need to answer two basic questions: ‘Can I afford this?’ and ‘Is this the best deal I can get?’ That’s how markets are supposed to work, and that’s where this new agency is headed.” Read her full testimony here.
Also yesterday, Richard Berner, who has been asked by Secretary Geithner to set up the OFR, testified on the Hill about progress to date. He told the committee that “put simply, we aim to create the ‘connective tissue’ needed to fill gaps in both information and analytics.” He concluded by saying:
“Better data and analysis cannot prevent financial shocks, but we believe our efforts will help policymakers and market participants understand their origins, and thus help reduce their frequency and magnitude. Those efforts will continue to deliver on our mandate to improve the quality, integrity, and availability of financial data and to promote and produce research that helps us identify and address threats to financial stability.” Read his full testimony.
For additional information about the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, check out the following fact sheets: