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August 2, 2012

Washington Post: Are the benefits of Wall Street reform impossible to quantify?

 

” “Many of the costs and benefits of financial regulation simply cannot be quantified,” Kelleher, head of advocacy group Better Markets, said in a speech on Monday at the Peterson Institute for International Economics. ”How do you quantify the human costs that all the economic wreckage has inflicted? Searching and not being able to find work for years…lost retirements, educations and dreams. How do you quantify that? You don’t.”

Kelleher’s underlying argument is that the cost-benefit analysis that the financial industry is demanding of federal regulations is too narrow in defining “costs” and “benefits”—capturing only their impact on Wall Street’s bottom line rather than accounting for the massive toll of the last financial crisis on ordinary Americans and the benefits of preventing the next one, according to a new report from his group Better Markets.

Kelleher, among the few pro-reform advocates lobbying the Hill, is particularly disturbed by a decision by the D.C. District Court last year that ruled the Securities and Exchange Commission must produce a cost-benefit analysis of a new Dodd-Frank regulation that gives ordinary investors more power over the membership of corporate boards. Industry groups like the Business Roundtable, which filed the suit against the SEC, are “trying to get economic agencies out of the business of economic analysis and get the federal courts to decide instead.” “

Read Suzy Khimm’s full Washington Post article here

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