Tom Easton on Dodd-Frank: "A Terrible Law"


"I think there's growing understanding of how terrible this law really is," says The Economist's Tom Easton of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010.

Dodd-Frank was passed in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, and Easton is one of the very select few who have read the entire sweeping bill. He asserts that "the single most indicting read on Dodd-Frank, is to read Dodd-Frank itself."

To those who feel that the financial crisis was caused by a lack of regulation, Easton counters, "the argument that there needs to be more regulations (on banks) is frankly ludicrous if you look at how they were regulated before."

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  1. Does anyone actually support Dodd-Frank? I mean besides Wall Street lobbyists who wrote.

    1. It cost a little loot, but for Wall Street it was worth it to get the ‘you are not allowed to play with us’ clause in there.

      1. It would be nice if he had highlighted some of the bizarre provisions in D-F instead of just asserting that they exist.

        1. That’s what the link is for, the video is just a summation:

    2. Every leftist I know does, reflexively. It doesn’t matter if it works or not, because its stated intention is to regulate Wall Street, and haven’t there been abuses there? That’s all they need to know. If it doesn’t work as intended, there’s an obvious solution: more regulation.

  2. *it.

  3. Dodd-Frank terrible? SHOCKING!

  4. I dont reqally know the details of Dodd-Frank, nor did I read the article. All I have to know is ‘Dodd-Frank’ to be confident that it should be repealed.

    1. You should at least listen to the interview. The guy slams Dodd-Frank through the asphalt.

      1. When I wrote that comment I fully intended to watch, but I wanted to comment before doing so to test the validity of my ‘If Frank has anything to do with it then it sucks’ test. I am now commenting after and what I said the first time is true to a greater degree than I first expected.

        1. Frank is wrong on so many things, but he has teamed up with Ron Paul once or twice in the past… I want to say to try to end the drug war. Chris Dodd, on the other hand, is a complete waste of space.

          1. You are so right, I neglected to mention that.
            Frank = suck
            Frank Dodd = suck to the tenth power.

  5. So the “free market” didn’t cause the 2008 financial crisis? You mean there were pages and pages of regs even when Clinton repealed Glass-Steagall?

    You know, why is it so hard for a non-left counternarrative to influence the mass press when the facts support it?

    1. Because they’re stupid and verminous.

      1. Say what you want but Barneys tits are really getting spectacular as he ages! So round and full with very little sag…remarkable for an older man!

        1. I could never hate the Frank even though he is as scummy as the rest except for a few matters he’s actually decent on. Just too damn entertaining.

    2. Because conservatives called crony capitalism financial deregulation in the 00s and can’t admit that they were full of shit now.

      1. Hmm, I don’t know about that. I just know that, practically every year, some Democrat claims there are too few regulations over banking and finance.

        Now if conservatives have called Wall Street sleeping with D.C. financial deregulation, then, yes, fuck them. But don’t pretend for a second that the left perpetuates the lie unintentionally or out of ignorance that deregulation caused the meltdown. They know damn well it didn’t.

        1. Most leftists are stupid, so yeah they are repeating the lie out of ignorance.

          1. No, many are quite smart, but they see what they want to see. If there’s a problem regarding Wall Street (and to many the problem is “other people making too much money”), that proves there’s an insufficient amount of regulation. Q.E.D. To them it’s dim-witted or evil conservatives and libertarians who don’t see the obvious.

      2. Be nice if you could cite some examples before 2008. Deregulation disappeared as an issue for over twenty years. It certainly wasn’t a part of the Bush administration’s agenda which grew regulation and the size the bureaucracy, even the domestic policy end, to levels never seen before its time.

        1. Never said Bush did any actual deregulation. Mal regulation is more like what happened but the republicans can’t admit that they were practicing corruption, not deregulation. Which is why the free markets caused the crash nonsense goes unanswered by them.

          1. Wait, what? Isn’t regulation, by definition, a pure and virtuous fluid dispensed as a curative for all ills? Listening to those demanding more, more, more, you’d think it’s just a matter of pouring the sweet elixer over those nasty capitalists and watching things smooth right out.

          2. I agree with that.

    3. “…why is it so hard for a non-left counternarrative to influence the mass press when the facts support it?”

      Because the mass press is largely made up of socialists to whom facts are of no importance.

  6. At the rate the game gets more and more fixed, you’ll soon be able to play stocks by which piggy-bank has their clown in office.

    Shoulda bought Goldy Sux in 2009, after all they’re the most bipartisan of the bunch – they always win.

  7. “So I hope it becomes a nuanced political debate where politicians actually look at provisions and they put in front of the American public all the bizarre things that are happening in this law.”

    As Gunny Highway said to Officer Reese, “Keep dreaming, shitball.” Although I would very much like to see Dodd-Frank overtly repeal and publicly excoriated in front of the two who named it, I have very little faith in the Congress that passed it in the first place. It would be considered deregulation.

    1. This.

      Moreover, Easton’s assertion that, because the law is so (I paraphrase) arcane and convoluted, it will be in effect repealed is also a dream. Witness the federal tax code (among other bizarre stuff).

    2. What I was thinking when he said there is a need for ‘nuance.’ Anything short of nuking Dodd-Frank from orbit will just make it angrier.

    3. Just because we’re holding hands doesn’t mean we’ll be taking warm showers together until the wee hours of the morning.


      1. You shouldn’t litter, Fag-cisco. It’s ecologically unsound.

  8. He said “I hope it becomes a nuanced political debate.”

    What planet is he from? When’s the last time we’ve had a nuanced political debate about anything in this country?

    He doesn’t look like a dreamer, but I guess they can come in all shapes and sizes.

  9. All Dodd-Frank was, was an attempt to misdirect the public’s attention away from what the Obama Adminsitration was doing.

    It’s hard for some people to believe that the president really isn’t at the mercy of Wall Street. But Obama really could have refused to squander our future paychecks on bailing out Wall Street.

    Believe it or not, Wall Street is not responsible for what Barack Obama does. And trying to blame Wall Street for what Barack Obama willingly chose to do–is what Dodd Frank is all about.

    It’s hard for some people to believe that Barack Obama is responsible for what Barack Obama does. If you don’t like the president squandering our future paychecks on bailing out Wall Street, then you have a chance to hold him accountable this November.

    Congress passing a law doesn’t make Wall Street responsible for what Barack Obama does. Barry O says, “Oh, I didn’t have any choice!”


    Oh, and the people out there who support Obama and Congress–because they think these regulations somehow did away with the credit or business cycles? They truly are America’s stupidest people.

    1. I believe the extent of many people’s knowledge of credit cycles is their monthly bank statements. Maybe a few mainstream articles here and there.

      I wonder, too, if they think the Federal Reserve is some giant public wildlife park. 😉

  10. “Frankly ludicrous.” I see what you did there, Thomas.

    Also, reason stopped following me on Twitter. Was it the taco twitpic? Come on, it’s pretty amazing that you could pick out the ingredients after all they’d been through. And was that not the likeness of Our Holy Mother, at least a little?

  11. During the Bush admin, things were defacto unregulated. Regulation existed, but people were put in place to make sure the regulation was never enforced. White collar prosecutions during Bush were way down. Recall even the guy who was begging repeatedly for the SEC to do something about Bernie Madoff.

    1. Yeah, it was just like the Old West, minus the gunplay and drinking cheap whiskey with cheaper whores in the Dodge City Saloon.

    2. Regulation will not stop the economy from taking a downturn periodically.

      They might teach that in Clown College or something, but there is no school of economics that says regulation is the solution to downturns in the economic cycle.

      The only people who believe that regulation will stop downturns in the economic cycle? Are TV pundits, who don’t know what they’re talking about; people who get all their information from TV, who don’t understand what they’re watching; and Barack Obama, who knows that some people are so dumb, they’ll believe anything he says.

      I never thought I’d live to see the day that liberals would believe a president, who squandered $350 billion in hard-earned tax payer money on corporations, just because he said he didn’t have any choice.

      Do you have any interest in buying some waterfront property in Florida? It was formerly owned by a liberal.

    3. What regulations were not enforced that would have prevented the housing bubble?

    4. SEC employees don’t change with the president. They’re non-partisan, even if the guy at the top isn’t. And they had their homework done for them, and they still didn’t question Madoff’s profoundly sketchy records.

      How regulation inspires confidence in some folks, I’ll never understand.

      1. If only we had more regulation, Wall Street, or any bank, would never lose a penny on any loan or investment, ever…

        See, they’re always trying to trick us. Tell us the future is uncertain. Tell us that it’s hard to tell what the future’s gonna hold.

        But as everybody who’s ever put their money at risk knows–there’s no risk! All we have to do is make the investments Obama wants us to make, and the money will just come rolling in non-stop!

        They just don’t want poor people to know about it. That’s where the regulation comes in. All the free money people make on Wall Street? By making loans and selling investments?

        It’s all a cover up based on a lie. The lie that the future is uncertain. The lie that loan officers and portfolio managers don’t know the future.

        They all know the future.

        They teach how to predict it in college!

  12. I remember discussing accounting esoterica and how accounting was dumbed down on behalf of regulators at one job interview (at a perennially successful, not-bailed-out financial services company). My interviewer said something to the effect that “a regulator is never smarter than who he regulates.” That’s not just ego, it’s true; there are no incentives to be a great regulator. Pay is low and largely seniority-based. That breeds business-as-usual guys with low financial acumen. Nothing’s changing that, which means regulation, insofar as it’s even palatable, will continuously fail. Even if we were to get past the likely insurmountable problem of herding bias in financial markets, regulators wouldn’t know how to spot a problem if they saw it.

  13. Coming soon: Fifty Shades Of Regulation.

    1. Eww…naked regulators!

  14. “Sign your life over to FedGov…”

  15. there needs to be more regulations (on banks) is frankly ludicrous ed hardy zwembroekif you look at how they were regulated before.”

  16. To those who feel that the financial crisis was caused by a lack of regulation, Easton counters, “the argument that there needs to be more regulations…..-c-83.html (on banks) is frankly ludicrous if you look at how they were regulated before.”

  17. My profession – real estate appraisal – has been directly and negatively impacted by the legislation. It has created a wall between the appraiser and the property owner, which was intended to increase objectivity but serves more to keep the appraiser in the dark about the recent history of the property and imminent needs for the property. This may not impact accuracy so much in the residential sector where comparable sales are frequent and easy to find, but in the commercial sector, where cash flows are sometimes projected 10 years into the future, it’s helpful to know if the building has or needs a new roof, new systems such as plumbing and electrical, etc. Instead the lender has to rely on an appraisal that just makes assumptions about the age/condition of various components of the building. The wall of separation is the appraisal management company, which randomly farms out appraisal work for lenders and knows little-to-nothing about either lending or appraising. Hmm, kinda reminds me of another middle man I know…

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