Dodd-Frank, Doing Justice


Following the financial crisis of 2008, the United States government decided to take legislative action in order to protect the American public and tighten the leash on the financial sector.  From unregulated derivatives markets to excessively risky trading and speculative losses written off under the cover of a portfolio hedge, the tools and investment vehicles utilized by the finance industry generated enormous amounts of revenue, however as the crisis showed, even financial powerhouses are susceptible to failure.  Bailing out the finance industry with billions of dollars provided a quick fix for keeping major firms afloat with the taxpayer money, but it was clear that real change was necessary.  Continue reading

Dodd-Frank: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly


The 2008 financial crisis left many people with no homes, jobs, or way of life.  It affected the economy more significantly than any crisis since the Great Depression.  Dodd-Frank was created in response to this catastrophe to assure that it would never happen again.  The law imposes regulation in nearly every aspect of the financial industry, covering investment and commercial banks, insurance companies, rating agencies, hedge funds, and many others.  With the implementation of Dodd-Frank, we must consider the costs and benefits of such a bill.  If there is too much regulation on  banks, for example, they will be less likely to lend, decreasing liquidity in our economy and leading to a lack of economic growth or even a recession. Continue reading

Moral Hazard


I think that the concept of “too big to fail” still exists today, as the financial services industry is still an oligopoly with few banks controlling the fate of the economy.  If, for example, a company like Citigroup, J.P. Morgan, or Bank of America were to go under at some point, the economy would fall apart.  Though it has tried to address the concern that banks could dismantle the financial system by regulating proprietary trading, capital requirements and others, the government has not addressed the problem of “moral hazard,” where investment banks take bigger risks because they are dealing with other people’s money and not their own.  The way to reform the banking system is to shift the risk to those that make the decisions to take the risk in the first place.  Continue reading