Sunday, July 12, 2015

Reform Skeptic Rep. Hensarling to Hold Hearings on Dodd-Frank and the Power of the Fed



    Long time financial reform skeptic and Dodd-Frank foe Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), chair of the Financial Services Committee, will hold hearings on what he believes to be the Federal Reserve’s lack of transparency and accountability.  On Tuesday, July 14, 2015 at 10:00am EDT, the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee will examine the Federal Reserve’s growing power since the passage of the Dodd-Frank Act as well as an alleged lack of operational transparency and accountability to Congress. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Rep. Hensarling has scheduled a slate of witnesses fairly well known for their lack of enthusiasm for both the Dodd-Frank reforms and the Fed itself:

    • Mark Calabria, Director of Financial Regulation Studies, Cato Institute
    • Paul Kupiec, Resident Scholar, American Enterprise Institute
    • Alice M. Rivlin, Senior Fellow, Economic Studies, Brookings Institution
    • John Taylor, Professor of Economics, Stanford University

    According to Rep. Hensarling Tuesday's hearing will be part of a series of three hearings to consider the effects of Dodd-Frank on the US economy.

    "I frankly believe it remains an open question whether we have achieved greater stability. I fear the answer is no, but were the answer to be yes - when you look at the damage Dodd-Frank has done to our economic growth, to family finances and consumer freedom - I am rather doubtful it would be worth the cost," 

    While he agrees that the stability of US banks is much improved since the passage of the Dodd-Frank reforms, he refuses to credit the legislation for this achievement, and believes it has done more harm than good.

    "What is undebatable is the fact that since the passage of Dodd-Frank the big banks are now bigger; the small banks are now fewer. In other words, even more banking assets are now concentrated in the so-called 'Too Big to Fail' firms. Pray tell, how does this improve financial stability?" 

    "Dodd-Frank has codified 'Too Big to Fail' into law and provided a taxpayer-funded bailout system in Title I and Title II of the Act. This simply leads to even greater moral hazard and to greater instability,"