Out of Sight, Out of Mind?
Is 2008 far enough in our rear-view that we’ve already forgotten the same mistakes that brought the financial industry-and U.S. economy-to the brink of collapse? Evidently, it is for banks and policymakers.
You have probably been hearing a lot of talk about impending “reviews” of current financial regulation measures; the very regulations put in place immediately following the aftermath of the 2008 collapse; the very measures that are meant to ensure that kind of thing doesn’t happen anymore. However, these calls for review signal a clear intention for some of a desire for wide-scale financial deregulation.
The Push for Financial Deregulation
Financial institutions have claimed that regulation measures have been retaliatory and have largely resulted in stifling growth and ability to offer competitive services and prices. With the introduction of the Trump Administration, financial stocks soared on optimism of a businessman in the White House.
The president and other policymakers have repeatedly voice dissatisfaction with current regulatory measures. Notably, the Dodd-Frank law, which provides much of the overarching regulation for banking and finance, has been seen as headed for the chopping block. Reuters reports that in June, House Republicans voted to replace Dodd-Frank.
In a World Without Financial Regulation
The risks of widespread financial deregulation are great. The fallout of 2007-2009 were universal, and effectively ended the popular “too big to fail” concept. Entire companies were brought down, not to mention the homes and savings of thousands of people and families. You probably know someone who experienced financial devastation.
Dodd-Frank and other regulatory measures were put in place to ensure that devastation of the magnitude never occur again. While a review of some measures may be warranted, massive financial deregulation is not. In fact, banking experts are warning that a move like that could have dire consequences.
Vice Federal Reserve Chair, Stanley Fischer, recently stated that the decision to roll back key elements of Dodd-Frank were extremely short-sighted. He warned that a reversal could be taking us in a very dangerous direction.
Regardless of political preference, nobody wants a return to the dark days of 2008. Any “reviews” of existing regulations should be met with apprehension and should be given full deliberation.