Delay As A Political Strategy

Posted by | June 9, 2011 21:35 | Filed under: Top Stories

by Stuart Shapiro

Trying to slow the party in power is a tried and true political strategy.  Wall Street is taking it to new heights, however, in trying to delay the implementation of the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill.  The bill requires that hundreds of regulations be written by executive agencies and independent commissions.  How’s it going?   Not well:

So far, 28 of the financial overhaul rule-making deadlines have been missed, according to Davis Polk, a law firm that is tracking the rules. Of the 385 new rules to be written, the law firm says, regulators have completed only 24 requirements; they were supposed to have taken 41 such actions by now. . .

Some of the most powerful players in the derivatives market — which is closely controlled by just a small group of banks — argued that the government should allow a slow pace of changes for rewriting derivatives contracts.

In fairness, the delay should not surprise anyone.  The process for writing a regulation is long and cumbersome.  Congress is hypocritical when it sets deadlines for agencies and then tells the agency that when writing the rule, they also have to go through myriad steps or risk having the regulation overturned in court.  Still, this serves as a reminder that passing legislation is often less than half the battle in implementing new policy.

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Copyright 2011 Liberaland
By: Stuart Shapiro

Stuart is a professor and the Director of the Public Policy
program at the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers
University. He teaches economics and cost-benefit analysis and studies
regulation in the United States at both the federal and state levels.
Prior to coming to Rutgers, Stuart worked for five years at the Office
of Management and Budget in Washington under Presidents Clinton and
George W. Bush.

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