When the Dodd-Frank financial-overhaul bill was passed last summer, it was done so with much of the fanfare and self-congratulation that has come to typify Washington. Then-Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) called it the “toughest set of Wall Street reform in generations.” But the bill’s hype was not backed up with much substance. The legislation, which was sold as a response to the financial crisis, did not even address the problems of Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac and made TARP-style bailouts a permanent fixture of the government’s fiscal policy. And the impact of the law is already being felt as banks have begun to consider new fees on checking accounts and credit cards as a result of this burdensome new law. So much for siding with consumers.
But despite this law’s troublesome aspects, the far more distressing feature of this 2,300 page behemoth is how much we don’t yet know about it. As we noted at the time, the law could more be aptly titled, “The Lawyers and Lobbyists Full Employment Act” as it left a massive amount of its implementation to regulatory agencies which will be bombarded by lobbyists jockeying for special favors. In an effort to visualize the complexity and amount of unanswered questions left by the law, the US Chamber of Commerce has compiled a list of the “259 mandated rulemakings, another 188 suggested rulemakings, 63 reports, and 59 studies” required by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street “reform” bill into an interactive graphic which we have pasted below.
For a full-size version of the chart, visit the Chamber’s website.