Dodd-Frank achievements assessed on its 10th anniversary

July 2, 2020

The Center on Finance, Law and Policy co-hosted a day-long conference with the Brookings Institution on June 30 to mark the Dodd-Frank Act 10th Anniversary. Former Senator Chris Dodd and former Representative Barney Frank participated, as did Federal Reserve Governor Lael Brainard and former Fed chief Janet Yellen, among others. Dean Michael Barr was one of the key architects of the law and was a prominent panelist and speaker, as featured in an article in American Banker and on Bloomberg TV. (The entire conference is online here; Michael Barr's panel begins at 26:35).

From the American Banker: The economic toll from the coronavirus pandemic has been mitigated by reforms enacted in the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act, but the current crisis bolsters the case for even stronger regulation in the future, supporters of the decade-old law said Tuesday.

The bill's primary authors, former and current regulators, and others gathered for a virtual event exploring the impact of Dodd-Frank on the eve of the landmark legislation's 10th anniversary.

With banks and other institutions holding key financial levers to help businesses navigate the pandemic, former Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd and former House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank credited their law — passed in response to the 2008 financial crisis — with positioning the banking system as a stabilizing force.

Michael Barr, who served as assistant secretary for financial institutions at the Treasury Department in 2009 and 2010, noted that the capital and liquidity requirements enacted in the legislation and implemented by the Fed have made the financial system able to handle the economic fallout of the pandemic.

“The additional capital and liquidity, the approach to systemic risk that is required now at the Fed, which had led the Fed to impose surcharges, to engage in stress testing … I think all of those measures have made the system more resilient,” said Barr, a dean at the University of Michigan's Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy.

The full article, “Dodd-Frank has softened the blow of the pandemic, its authors say,” can be read here.

Barr’s appearance on Bloomberg TV’s Balance of Power, “Key Architect of Dodd-Frank Says Financial System Is Not Safe Yet,” can be seen here.