Two Years Later, Dodd-Frank Is Only Half Finished

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on August 28 2012 6:18 AM

The Dodd-Frank Act was passed in 2010 to rein in the Wall Street excesses that led to the financial crisis, but the massive law is only half in effect, according to the House Financial Services Committee's Dodd-Frank Burden Tracker.

To date, 224 of the law's 400 rules have been written, totaling 7,365 pages and creating the biggest changes to financial regulation since the Great Depression, including new agencies and regulations. The size of the bill led opponents to argue against its complexity.

“This online resource will help the public better understand how the cumulative weight of these new rules -- layered upon existing outdated, unnecessary and duplicative red tape -- hurts small businesses and financial institutions," said committee Chairman Spencer Bachus, R-Ala., in a statement in April regarding the Burden Tracker.

Rep. Randy Neugebauer, R-Texas, said private companies are expected to spend 24.1 million hours each year to comply with the current set of 224 rules, more time than it took to build the Panama Canal.

Dodd-Frank was passed when the Democrats controlled the House; Bachus started the "Burden Tracker" after the Republican takeover. 

Some leaders of the financial industry have also spoken against the additional regulations, including Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM), although Dodd-Frank backers have seized on his bank's disastrous credit default swap, which has led to billions in losses.

Since April, when the Burden Tracker was launched, 39 more rules have been added. Most recently, the Securities and Exchange Commission voted last week to require companies to disclose the usage of "conflict minerals," such as tin and gold, from the Democratic Republic of the Congo area. Wars fueled in part by the struggle for such resources have ravaged Central Africa.

At its current pace, the law's 400 rules won't be completed for another two years, but a Romney victory in November could lead to a repeal effort.

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