The Senate Banking Committee held an extensive hearing with the heads of the financial regulatory agencies today on the implementation of the Dodd-Frank Act, although Ranking Member Shelby (AL) controversially referred to it as the “Frank-Dodd Act.” The focus of Member concerns was the creation of the Financial Stability Oversight Council, questioning its priorities and the extensive interagency coordination it will require. Agency heads defended their collegiality even as differences on substance and process surfaced throughout the session. Questions were very wide-ranging, also leading to differing views from Treasury and the agency heads on issues such as risk retention, Basel III, when to name systemic nonbanks and many other first-order questions that must be resolved under the Act. The witnesses’ prepared testimony and statements outlined the extensive rulemaking to come, with Deputy Treasury Secretary Wolin noting progress on standing up both the Federal Insurance Office and the Office of Financial Research in addition to the FSOC. Considerable time was also spent debating Treasury’s authority to write consumer-protection rules in the absence of a confirmed head of the CFPB. Although Mr. Wolin was careful not to rule out this possibility, he agreed to the importance of a confirmed Director. This report analyzes today’s session, providing detail on statements from Treasury and the FRB, FDIC, OCC, CFTC and SEC on each of the agency’s work plans, priorities and initial thinking on the panoply of pending rules.
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