Since passage of the Dodd-Frank Act in 2010, the financial industry has been dealing with an almost unstoppable wave of regulatory reforms. Most, if not all have been designed to prevent a repetition of the problems that followed the failure of AIG and Lehman Brothers in 2008. Now, after the U.S. election of a conservative majority in two (and soon to be all three) branches of the U.S. federal government, many bankers feel that a huge regulatory weight is about to be lifted. Some bankers expect a reversal of the drive toward reforms, perhaps even repeal of Dodd-Frank. That’s not going to happen, at least not without a lot of work.
Although there may be receptive listeners in government, it will take more than a supportive administration to ease the pressure for reforms. The nation has been repeatedly told that the financial industry brought the economy to the brink. Reform is now expected by Main Street voters. A new narrative must be formulated before the conservatives can delay imposition of the final rules, much less repeal the most restrictive measures.