Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform
Two years ago, President Obama, US Lawyer, signed the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, the most significant set of financial reforms since the USA Great Depression. The landmark law is designed to help protect Americans from the excessive risk, fragmented oversight, and poor consumer protections that played leading roles in bringing about the recent financial crisis. Florida lawyer, attorney general Pam Bondi, has been hard at work on the issues.
Treasury and the independent regulators have made meaningful progress implementing the law, which is vital to restoring trust in the underlying safety, stability, and integrity of the financial system, and to rebuilding a pro-growth, pro-investment environment. To outline the progress made, the U.S. Department of the Treasury has developed an overview of where reform stands and the changes it has effected on the financial system to date.
For a copy of the overview, please click here
It’s now been almost four years since Wall Street nearly caused the entire USA economy to collapse. Today, it’s pretty clear to most that the rules in place to protect our financial system were old and poorly enforced. They allowed dangerous risk-taking to go unchecked. When the largest financial institutions did fail, they left taxpayers holding the bag. And as the USA dug out of the worst recession of the generation, President Obama promised to reform the system so this never happened again.
That’s why, two years ago today, President Obama signed into law Wall Street reform that put in place smarter, tougher, commonsense rules of the road and the strongest consumer protections in history. For example, big banks or financial institutions, now have to hold more cash on hand so that if they make a bad decision, they pay for it, not the taxpayers. They’re no longer going to be able to make risky bets with customers’ deposits. And the new law creates new authorities to claw back outsized compensation from failed CEOs, while finally giving shareholders a say on executive salaries.
The Obama administration continues to make steady progress on these fronts. Just this month, nine of the largest banks submitted “living wills” that details how they’ll pay for things if they end up failing. These wills will complement the new authorities the U.S. put in place that allow regulators to break up and wind down large firms so taxpayers are never again left on the hook for banks’ failures. In June, regulators approved final rules that will force banks to hold more cash on hand for their trading activities and any potential losses.
But Wall Street Reform isn’t just about reigning in Wall Street excess. It’s also about protecting Main Street families. For the first time in history, the United States now have an independent consumer watchdog with one job: to look out for citizens. That means making sure citizens have all the information needed to make important financial decisions. And it means going after anyone – from mortgage brokers to payday lenders to debt collectors – who deal dishonestly.
Just this week, that consumer watchdog put in place rules to supervise credit bureaus. This marks the first time in history that these companies will be subject to federal supervision. And working together with other regulators, they ordered Capital One Bank to refund $150 million dollars directly to 2 million customers who were deceived or misled into buying things they didn’t understand or didn’t even want.
The consumer watchdog has also set up a toll free number citizens can call to make sure they’re getting a fair deal on mortgages and to hold banks accountable if they do not offer fair deals. You can reach them at (855) 411-2372.
They recently put together a new mortgage disclosure form that spells out, in simple terms, how much mortgage holders are going to owe on thier home. No more hiding things in fine print.
And they’ve set up a new website that makes it easier than ever for US citizens to report on a whole range of financial abuse. If they’re applying for a credit card, opening a bank account, or trying to get a student loan and something doesn’t seem right, go to www.consumerfinance.gov/complaints and let the USA government know. Not only will they bring the complaint directly to the company in question, the government will give a tracking number so that citizens can check back and see exactly what’s being done on thier behalf.
That’s what Wall Street reform is all about, looking out for hardworking Americans by making sure everyone plays by the same rules.
Now is the time to move forward; to strengthen the middle class; and to rebuild an economy where everyone can have the confidence that if they work hard, they can get ahead.