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August 22, 2013

Too Many Cooks Is Reason for Financial Rule Delays

In Washington, they call it being taken to the woodshed. That’s what happened this week when President Barack Obama summoned nine financial regulators to come in for a talk. The president wanted to know what’s taking them so long to write the rules needed to make sure that the 2008 economic crisis won’t be repeated.

After all, it has been more than three years since the Dodd-Frank financial reform law passed. Yet less than 40 percent of the law’s requirements have been met.

One reason is the long list of agencies represented in Obama’s office: the U.S. Treasury, the Federal Reserve, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., the National Credit Union Administration and the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Our head is spinning, too. Many of these have overlapping duties. And the leaders of all the agencies seem to have the natural impulse that drives bureaucracies: elbows-out protection of turf. The result is a lot of unnecessary delay.”

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Read full Bloomberg editorial here

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