Johnson Warns Against Dismantling Dodd-Frank

By Sarah Borchersen-Keto, CCH Washington News Bureau, Contributing Author, the CCH Federal Banking Law Reporter, May 10, 2011.

Senate Banking Committee Chairman Tim Johnson, D-S.D. warned that attempts to dismantle the Dodd-Frank Act would be “dangerous and irresponsible,” and stressed that “we simply cannot afford to go back to the old financial system that destroyed millions of jobs and cost the economy trillions of dollars.”

At a May 10, 2011, committee hearing (webcast) reviewing the final report of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, Johnson said that repealing or undermining the Dodd-Frank Act would result in a return to the weak financial system that created the worst economic crisis in generations.

Ranking Member Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., countered that Senate Democrats and the administration had pushed forward with financial reform without waiting for the commission’s results and “without a firm grasp of the facts behind the financial crisis.”

Shelby said the committee had “squandered an historic opportunity” by not conducting its own investigation of the crisis. He added that while it was unfortunate that the commission was unable to reach a bipartisan consensus in its final report, “it’s more unfortunate that in the end, it did not matter.”

Commission Chairman Phil Angelides told members that it is “critical” that the Dodd-Frank Act is fully implemented “with sufficient resources for proper oversight and enforcement to help prevent a future crisis.” Angelides noted that the financial crisis was a “dual phenomenon of regulators not exercising the power they had, as well as very specific gaps that did exist that precluded both oversight as well as the ability to stabilize the situation.”