by Lisa Swan on March 28, 2012
Waaaaah! The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is complaining – for the umpteenth time – about Congress’ Dodd-Frank financial reform legislation. The Hill reports that the organization gripes about the law in a new report card on the bill, saying that Dodd-Frank makes it “impossible for honest market participants to know the rules of the road,” and government regulators have failed to get the legislation right.
The Chamber graded 17 portions of Dodd-Frank, and gave all the sections but two a least a partially incomplete grade. David Hirschmann, president and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce’s Center for Capital Markets Competitiveness said that the things that matter to most of their members are “still pending,” saying that “we’re almost two years into the regulatory process, and we still don’t know.” He said that with the grades, “we’re simply grading the outcome, and will it help or hurt Main Street.”
However, he also admitted to The Hill that the Chamber is “admittedly schizophrenic,” and indicated that the organization does not want rules instituted quickly without having good thinking behind them, also griping that Dodd-Frank is “an incomplete bill passed in haste.”
Of course, cynics might note that groups like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, a group that, according to Vanity Fair, spent $132 million in 2010 on lobbying involving financial reform legislation, have helped delay things as well.
The two A’s that the Chamber doled out were on things that didn’t quite work out as planned for advocates of the legislation. One A was for a part of the bill that would have allowed investors to have more say in companies; this part has been struck down by federal courts. The second A was given to the corporate disclosures section, a part that was delayed due to lobbying from groups like the Chamber of Commerce.
So what’s next for the Chamber of Commerce’s lobbying efforts? They have mobilized to oppose both the Volcker Rule and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and are focusing on influencing regulators, not legislators. The recommendations contained with the report card are aimed at regulator. Hirschmann says that “this is the year where even renaming post offices is not easy legislatively,” so “our focus is primarily on the regulators.”
Lisa Swan is a Feature Writer for the Compliance Exchange and the Wall Street Job Report.