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Dennis M. Kelleher

Dennis Kelleher is Co-founder, President and Chief Executive Officer of Better Markets, a Washington DC-based nonprofit established to make finance and government serve society, fight injustice and inequality, and promote economic security, opportunity, and prosperity for all Americans. At Better Markets, Mr. Kelleher’s leadership requires operating in the legislative, executive, and judicial branches simultaneously while developing and driving communications strategies to support those policy efforts. Since founding Better Markets in 2010, he has been quoted more than 3,000 times, done more than 150 live TV appearances, participated in more than 300 rulemakings and 25 legal cases, and testified more than 10 times.

Mr. Kelleher served as a member of the Biden-Harris Transition team and, from September 2020 through January 2021, was on the Federal Reserve, Banking and Securities Agency Review Team and worked with the Treasury Department and Department of Justice teams.  In April 2022, Washingtonian Magazine named Dennis, for the second year in a row, one of “Washington’s most influential people” in banking and finance, saying he was one of the experts “who shape the laws that govern the country and ultimately affect the course of history.”  The New York Times profiled Mr. Kelleher in “Facing Down the Bankers,” referring to him as “one of the most powerful lobbyists on financial reform” and he was featured in the award-winning Frontline documentary “Money, Power and Wall Street,” on PBS’s “Braking the Banks,” and in Steven Brill’s best-selling book “Tailspin: The People and Forces Behind America’s Fifty-Year Fall—and Those Fighting to Reverse It.”

Prior to Better Markets, Mr. Kelleher worked for almost eight years in senior staff positions in the United States Senate, concluding his service in 2010 as Chief Counsel and Senior Leadership Advisor to the Chairman of the Senate Democratic Policy Committee, a member of Senate leadership.  Earlier in his career, Mr. Kelleher was a partner with the international law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, where he had an extensive and broad-ranging U.S. and European practice specializing in crisis management and complex corporate matters that focused on governance, securities, and financial markets.  Mr. Kelleher served four years of active-duty enlisted service in the Air Force as a crash/rescue firefighter/medic, which preceded his graduation with the highest honors from Brandeis University and with honors from Harvard Law School.

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Highlighted Recent Activity

  1. OP-ED: Where regulators could reform Wall Street in 2023 (Financial Times)
  2. OP-ED: FTX crash shows cryptocurrency market needs bank-like regulation (CNBC)
  3. TV Appearance: Dennis Kelleher Discusses FTX and the Future of Crypto on CNN
  4. Radio Interview: What’s in the White House Study on Crypto Policies and Regulations? (Federal News Network)
  5. OP-ED: Regulators Still Aren’t Serious About Ending Too Big to Fail (Barron’s)
  6. Podcast: A sceptic’s guide to crypto: the crypto Wild West (Financial Times) 
  7. OP-ED: Robinhood says it serves Main Street. In reality it serves Wall Street (San Francisco Chronicle)
  8. TV Appearance: Dennis Kelleher discusses the Robinhood IPO Anniversary on Bloomberg TV
  9. Legal Brief: Amicus Brief in Arkansas Teacher Retirement System et. al. v. Goldman Sachs Group
  10. OP-ED: Financial market regulators can do more to tackle racial economic inequality (co authored with Dedrick Asante Muhammad in American Banker)
  11. Law Review Article: “Democratizing Equity Markets With and Without Exploitation: Robinhood, GameStop, Hedge Funds, Gamification, High Frequency Trading, and More” (Western New England Law Review Vol. 44)
  12. Documentary Appearance: Gaming Wall Street” (HBO MAX))

Selected Recent Media

  1. “Washington Needs a Crypto Rethink” (The New Yorker)
  2. “We need to talk about the CFTC” (The Financial Times)
  3. “Lawmakers who benefited from FTX cash probe its collapse” (The Washington Post)
  4. “The Crypto Meltdown Could Have Been So Much Worse” (The Atlantic)
  5. “FTX Sale Could Complicate Derivatives Proposal” (WSJ)
  6. “U.S. SEC levied $6.4 bln from enforcement in fiscal 2022 -chair” (Reuters)
  7. “‘Gambling on democracy’: US regulators weigh election futures market” (Financial Times)
  8. “‘Everything’s on the table’ for Fed, FDIC as they weigh resolution reform” (American Banker)
  9. “Cracking Down on a Wall Street Trend: E.S.G. Makeovers” (NY Times)
  10. “Asset managers bet big on crypto despite market rout” (Financial Times)
  11. “Robinhood slashing 23 percent of its workforce amid crypto meltdown” (Washington Post)
  12. “Senate Plan Would Put Bitcoin, Ether Under Commodity Regulator’s Watch” (WSJ)

Selected Profiles

  1. Welling on Wall Street Listening in–Better Markets
  2. The New York Times: “Facing Down the Bankers”​
  3. Washington Post: “Preventing the next financial blowout: A conversation with Dennis Kelleher
  4. CQ: “Kelleher: Dodd-Frank Defender
  5. Wealth Management: “The Watchdog
  6. Bill Moyers: “The Swamp Fighters: Dennis Kelleher on CFPB, Dodd-Frank and the Trump Era
  7. INET: Wall Street is Better at Gambling than Finance”

Selected TV Appearances

  1. CNN: Dennis Kelleher Discusses FTX and the Future of Crypto
  2. Bloomberg TV: Dennis Kelleher discusses the Robinhood IPO Anniversary on Bloomberg TV
  3. Documentary Appearance: Gaming Wall Street” (HBO MAX))
  4. CNBC: “Dennis Kelleher discussing PFOF on CNBC’s Fast Money
  5. BNN Bloomberg No one knows how many Archegos’ there are in the financial markets
  6. NBCLA “Is Investing in the Stock Market During the Pandemic a Good Idea?
  7. MSNBC “Trump slump: Market tumble stokes debate over Dems’ best economic attack on Trump 2020
  8. Politico Pro Panel: “10th Anniversary of the Financial Crisis
  9. Bloomberg: “NY Fed President Selection
  10. CSPAN: “Senate Vote to Repeal CFPB Mandatory Arbitration Rule
  11. MSNBC: “Trump and Wall Street
  12. Bloomberg: “Bank Supervisory Procedures
  13. CNBC: “Why the Public distrusts Wall Street


  1. The CON: The Truth Behind the Largest Criminal Conspiracy in American History
  2. PBS Need to Know: “Braking the Banks”​
  3. PBS Frontline: “Money, Power and Wall Street

Selected Op-Eds

  1. Barron’sRegulators Still Aren’t Serious About Ending Too Big to Fail
  2. San Francisco Chronicle: Robinhood says it serves Main Street. In reality it serves Wall Street 
  3. Financial Times: “Why Jay Powell has been a ‘dangerous man’ at the Fed
  4. The Hill: Putting the SEC cops back on the Wall Street beat
  5. Financial Times: “A policy agenda for Wall Street’s new sheriff
  6. Law360: It’s Time to Ramp Up Punishment for Wall Street Wrongdoers
  7. CNN: “The US government needs to save Main Street, not just Wall Street
  8. The Hill: “The US needs a coronavirus rescue Plan B — fast
  9. Morning Consultant: “7 Steps Congress Must Take to Stop the Coronavirus Economic, Financial Collapse
  10. Market Watch: “The $1 trillion plan to save the economy when the coronavirus forces everyone to quarantine

Selected Speeches and Presentations

  1. Too-Big-To-Fail Problem is Alive, Well and Getting Worse“, Financial Stability Board Workshop at the Federal Reserve Bank of NY
  2. Stress Tests as a Policy Tool“, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston’s Stress Testing Conference
  3. The State of Financial Reform: A View from the United States“, Financial Risk and Stability Conference (Berlin, Germany)
  4. “Ten Years After the Financial Crisis: Closing Loopholes, Avoiding Blindspots and Finding Economic Justice”Georgetown Law School
  5. Deregulation Unleashes Wall Street to Prey on Investors, Consumers and All Hard-Working Americans“,  Global Shareholder Activism Conference
  6. Financial Reform Is Working, But Deregulation That Incentivizes One-Way Bets Is Sowing the Seeds of Another Catastrophic Financial Crash“, INET Conference (Edinburg, Scotland)
  7. Moving America Forward: Education, Jobs, and the Economy”, Democratic National Convention Platform Drafting Committee
  8. Fifth Anniversary of Dodd-Frank Financial Regulatory Law”, Cost of the 2008 Financial Crisis

Selected Testimony

  1. House Financial Services Committee: “Game Stopped? Who Wins and Loses When Short Sellers, Social Media, and Retail Investors Collide, Part II
  2. Senate Agriculture Committee: “The State of the Derivatives Market and Perspectives for CFTC Reauthorization
  3. Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee: “FSOC Accountability: Nonbank Designations
  4. House Committee on Education and the Workforce Subcommittee: “Restricting Access to Financial Advice: Evaluating the Costs and Consequences for Working Families
  5. Senate Agriculture Committee: “Reauthorization of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission
  6. House Financial Services Committee: “Examining the Impact of the Volcker Rule on Markets, Businesses, Investors and Job Creation

Selected Comment Letters

  1. TD Bank/First Horizon Merger (Federal Reserve/OCC)
  2. Third-Party Risk Management Guidance (FDIC)
  3. Broker-Dealer Digital Engagement Practices (SEC)
  4. Debit Card Transaction Regulations (FRS)
  5. Debt Collection Practices (Regulation F); Delay of Effective Date (CFPB)

Selected Briefs

  1. Citadel Securities v. SEC
  2. Goldman Sachs v. Arkansas Teacher Retirement System
  3. New England Teamsters v. Sun Trust
  4. Interactive Brokers LLC v. Rohit Saroop
  5. SEC v. JP Morgan Case
  6. MetLife v. Financial Stability Oversight Council

Selected Reports

  1. Protecting Our Economy by Strengthening the U.S. Banking System Through Higher Capital Requirements
  2. The Agenda for the Fed’s Next Vice Chair for Supervision
  3. Should Federal Reserve Chairman Jay Powell Be Reappointed?
  4. Road to Recovery: Protecting Main Street From President Trump’s Dangerous Deregulation of Wall Street
  5. President Obama in His Own Words: Making Financial Reform a Reality 2009-2016
  6. Ten Years of Dodd-Frank & Financial Reform: Obama’s Successes, Trump’s Rollbacks & Future Challenges
  7. An Update on Supreme Court Cases Involving the Financial and Economic Security and Prosperity of the American People
  8. Goldman Sachs’ Twenty-Year RAP Sheet of Repeated Illegal Conduct
  9. Cost of the Crisis: $20 Trillion and Counting
  10. Wall Street’s Six Biggest Bailed-Out Banks: Their RAP Sheets & Their Ongoing Crime Spree
Our Team

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