Risk & Compliance

Square-Off: Should Dodd-Frank Stay or Go?

Despite efforts afoot to repeal the law, it should remain in place but be modified, many observers say.
David McCannSeptember 20, 2017

President Trump and many congressional Republicans want to deregulate corporate America, and the Dodd-Frank Act is the obvious place to start. To date 274 regulations have been promulgated under the law, and 116 more are in the works.

The president has, indeed, called for a full repeal of Dodd-Frank. A potentially significant step toward that goal occurred in June, when the House of Representatives voted along party lines to pass the Financial Choice Act, a Republican-sponsored bill that would effectively kill much of the law. The Senate, however, is currently attempting to craft its own, bipartisan version of regulatory relief, designed to clear a 60-vote threshold.

Whether the two houses of Congress will be able to agree on regulatory reform, so as to provide the president with something to sign into law, is very much an open question. That may disappoint companies that are eager for a reduced regulatory burden. Among observers with less direct financial interest, though, there appears to be little support for a wholesale dismantling of Dodd-Frank.

Our panel of debaters for this edition of Square-Off includes a university professor, a researcher at a strategic advisory group, an investment adviser, and a risk management adviser. While they quarrel to varying degrees with some aspects of Dodd-Frank, none favors a repeal. Nor did anyone who responded to our call for contributors.

Some CFO audience members may harbor contradictory views of Dodd-Frank in their roles as corporate executives on the one hand and private citizens on the other. What do you think? Please let us know by commenting on these articles.