Sen. Warren questions efficacy of regulatory efforts to end “too big to fail”

Elizabeth Warren

Elizabeth Warren

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) questioned regulators’ efforts to end America’s “too big to fail” problem last week, noting that the country’s four largest banks are 30 percent larger than before the crisis.

“We should not accept a financial system that allows the biggest banks to emerge from a crisis in record-setting shape while ordinary Americans continue to struggle,” Warren said. “And we should not accept a regulatory system that is so besieged by lobbyists for the big banks that it takes years to deliver rules and then the rules that are delivered are often watered-down and ineffective.”

Regulators were tasked with writing Dodd-Frank rules that were designed to eliminate many of the risks that led to the financial crisis. Three years later, however, many rules remain unwritten.

“True, there are rules left to be written, but that’s because the agencies have missed more than 60 percent of Dodd-Frank’s rulemaking deadlines,” Warren said. “I don’t understand the logic. Since when does Congress set deadlines, watch regulators miss most of them and then take that failure as a reason not to act? I thought that if the regulators failed, it was time for Congress to step in. That’s what oversight means. And that’s certainly a principle that would have served our country well prior to the crisis.”

Warren said the country needs a system that “puts an end to the boom and bust cycle.”

“Powerful interests will fight to hang on to every benefit and subsidy they now enjoy…” Warren said. “They have fought to delay and hamstring the implementation of financial reform, and they will continue to fight every inch of the way. That’s the battlefield. That’s what we’re up against… I am confident David can beat Goliath on Too Big to Fail. We just have to pick up the slingshot again.”

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