Year-one challenges of the Dodd-Frank act.

Author:Cooks, Christina

The one-year anniversary of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 arrives on July 21. As many who are closely monitoring the law know, a majority of the required 200-plus rules, as well as a new bureau of consumer financial protection, were to be implemented by the one-year mark.

This timeline poses significant challenges. As of late spring, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and Commodities Futures Trading Commission had finalized only about a dozen of the hundreds of rules intended to be written by July. Still, while regulators are working to implement and issue the unprecedented amount of required rules under the law, some in Congress are working equally hard to change what they see as the law's most onerous requirements.


While the year 2010 may be notable in history for the power-shifting midterm elections, it may also be remembered as the year two of the nation's largest and most sweeping pieces of legislation were enacted into law: the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) and Dodd-Frank. Yet, though Congress has held votes attempting to repeal the entire health care law, there are no expectations that similar actions will be attempted for financial reform.

And though Dodd-Frank is not expected to be repealed, concerns with the law--similar to those raised by the health care law--have been raised by many businesses and lawmakers. More troubling to opponents is that while most of the changes required by the health care law go into effect by 2014, Dodd-Frank rules, for the most part, are supposed to be operating on a one-year implementation timeline.

Dodd-Frank's more than 300 provisions requiring or permitting rulemaking pose a challenge to both rulemakers and businesses. For example, under Dodd-Frank, the SEC is responsible for close to 100 rulemaking provisions. It is a significant undertaking even compared to the SEC's rulemaking responsibilities under the 2002 Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which required adoption of just over a dozen rules.

This pace is also extremely difficult for companies trying to review the lengthy and numerous proposed rules to determine their impact as well as issue comment letters to the SEC.

In response to these challenges, committees in the House of Representatives have already passed legislation (H.R. 1573), introduced by several House Republicans, to extend the rules deadline for the derivatives titles to the end of 2012, placing the...

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