July 21, 2020
The truth about the Dodd-Frank Act
On the 10th anniversary of Dodd-Frank’s enactment, Douglas Holtz-Eakin assesses the state of the monumental financial-reform law in The Hill. He observes that a decade of the law has left the United States with three truths — one new, one old, and one seemingly ageless — that together indicate the law has not succeeded in numerous ways.
A decade after Dodd-Frank was signed into law, the United States is left with three truths about the law, one old, one new, and one seemingly ageless. Together, they provide a bleak commentary on the law’s success to date.
The old truth remains unchanged since the law’s inception: Dodd-Frank is a hasty response to a financial crisis built upon a misplaced trust that government regulators would possess better insight into complex financial risk management than the private sector that had better information, expertise, and incentives. As part of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, I argued at the time that too little regulation was not the cause of the crisis, and neither was too much regulation. The key was getting the right regulation, and Dodd-Frank did not.