The stated purpose of the hearing was to examine a belief often used by Dodd-Frank critics that the law has not eliminated too-big-to-fail financial institutions. Opponents contend that by designated these firms “systemically significant,” the federal government is bestowing a guarantee on these entities that they will not fail. Reform supporters countered that greater safeguards would make a difference. They noted a statutory prohibition of the use of taxpayer funds for financial assistance to a failing firm sends a strong message to the marketplace. It also would offset any supposed benefits for systemically importance institutions.
Commodity Futures Trading Commission Chairman Gary Gensler and representatives from the other agencies that serve on the Financial Stability Oversight Board were non-committal. In the midst of the rule-writing process, they are prohibited from discussing the proposals in depth.