By Better Markets
July 21 marks the eighth anniversary of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. Implemented in the midst of the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, Dodd-Frank has helped establish important protections for tens of millions of America’s families while at the same time ensuring Wall Street’s biggest banks can’t crash the country’s economy again and are better prepared for the next economic downturn.
To mark this 8th anniversary, here are 8 things we can thank Dodd-Frank for:
- Forcing Wall Street’s biggest banks to focus more on supporting the real economy by lending more to small, medium and large businesses and individuals while spending less time on high risk, socially useless activities that boost their bonuses.
- Requiring banks to have more equity capital and less borrowings and leverage to prevent failure, avoid bailouts and protect taxpayers.
- Creating a very powerful ally for Main Street consumers (the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau or CFPB) which stands up for them against Wall Street banks and other financial predators that rip them off.
- Returning an astonishing $12 billion to more than 27 million ripped off American financial consumers in just five years.
- Prohibiting proprietary trading and protecting all Americans from dangerous, risky, and socially useless gambling by Wall Street’s biggest banks with taxpayer backed money.
- Reducing the anti-competitive subsidies to Wall Street’s biggest banks, resulting in lending and revenues increasing more at community banks than the rest of the financial industry.
- Requiring Wall Street’s financial giants to take “stress tests,” which make them stronger by rigorously assessing their ability to withstand future economic downturns.
- Regulating dangerous derivatives by requiring margin and clearing and nonbank SIFIs (systemically important financial institutions) by the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) to reduce the likelihood of crashes and contagion.