Regulators and Banks Met Hundreds of Times About Dodd-Frank
Representatives of Goldman Sachs Group Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co., and Morgan Stanley & Co. are taking up the most space in the calendars of federal regulators tasked with implementing the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, according to an open-government group's new analysis, "What the banks' three-year war on Dodd-Frank looks like."
Those financial institutions met with agency officials about the statute more often than any other organizations since Dodd-Frank became law in July 2010 in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, the Sunlight Foundation report released on Monday shows. With 222 meetings, Goldman Sachs had the most conversations with regulators, followed by JPMorgan Chase with 207, and Morgan Stanley with 175.
Derivatives markets and products were the top topics of discussion for Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, while the proposed Volcker Rule was JPMorgan Chase's leading interest. The Volcker Rule, which has yet to go into effect, is intended to prohibit risky investments at banks.
"By most accounts, the banks’ besiege-the-regulators strategy has yielded rich rewards in sapping, slowing, and stymieing regulations intended to prevent another massive financial crisis," Sunlight senior fellow Lee Drutman wrote on the foundation's website. "The emerging consensus is that Dodd-Frank implementation is limping, while the big banks are poised to return to being the most profitable industry in the U.S."
During the past three years, 303 organizations had at least five Dodd-Frank get-togethers with officials at the Treasury Department, the Federal Reserve, and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the most frequent stop on the meeting circuit. In addition to financial institution officials, regulators saw members of lobbying shops, law firms, reform groups, and companies that included BP PLC, General Electric Co., and Ford Motor Co.
Of the 20 groups claiming the most meetings, only two of them weren't members of the financial sector. Lobbying shop Delta Strategy Group and law firm Sullivan & Cromwell were the non-financial institutions among the top 20, at Nos. 7 and 17, respectively. Overall, more than half of the organizations that had at least five Dodd-Frank discussions with regulators were from the financial sector.
For its analysis, Sunlight reviewed records federal agencies voluntarily post online about their Dodd-Frank meetings, which the group tracks on its website.The Securities and Exchange Commission and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. are among those agencies, but Sunlight didn't include them in its report due to data limitations.