Sheila Bair: Two Years After Dodd-Frank, Why Isn’t Anything Fixed?

Publication: Yahoo! Finance

Author: Sheila Bair

07/20/2012 —The late Gilda Radner played an endearing character named Roseanne Roseannadanna on Saturday Night Live in the 1970s.

The character would provide hilarious commentary on current events (usually accompanied by gross out observations on bodily functions) then conclude by saying “It’s always something — if it ain’t one thing, it’s another.”

As we are inundated with a continuing procession of financial scandals — MF Global’s bankruptcy, JP Morgan Chase’s “London Whale” and his trading losses, Barclays’ rate fixing, Peregrine Financial’s fraud — Roseanne’s “it’s always something” seems an apt description of the financial system today.

The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act, the landmark law enacted on July 21, 2010, was designed to end the kind of risk taking, greed, and avarice that brought us the financial crisis of 2008. Yet, notwithstanding thousands of pages of proposed and final rules to implement this important law, nothing much seems to have changed. The prospect of a quick buck too often trumps any notion of ethical behavior or gosh-forbid, long-term business relationships. Traders still feel they are masters of the universe, misappropriating customer funds, making outsized bets in the derivatives markets and fixing interest rates. Some of them apparently think that laws are made to be broken if they can improve their year-end bonuses. But after all, wasn’t that the lesson learned from the hand slaps they received for the subprime mess?

Read the full article, Sheila Bair: Two Years After Dodd-Frank, Why Isn’t Anything Fixed?, on the Yahoo! Finance website.