Saturday, July 21, 2012

Dodd-Frank: Laws Are Always Made To Be Broken

This country has millions of laws and millions of people who have broken them.  Laws don't necessarily prevent crime, they only make sure someone pays for it; always after the fact.  That is...hopefully!

The same is true with the Dodd-Frank financial reform act.  For those who think that we'll never see another "too big to fail" or major banking or financial failure with Dodd-Frank laws in place, are just whistling past the graveyard.  We've already seen several since that act went into effect.  There was the Jon Corzine/MF Global bankruptcy and liquidation whereby investors lost $1.6 billion in assets.  Then, there was the big trading error at JP Morgan where a still-undefined billions of dollars went lost.  Of course, in the last two weeks, there was the Barclay's LIBOR rate manipulation scandal that Federal Reserve may have been aware of as early as 2007.  And, most recently, there was the bankruptcy of the commodities and futures trading firm, PGBest, where a 1/4 billion dollars of investors money just went missing. 

In each of the above cases, our always-on-top-of-things lawmakers have either held or will hold hearings.  Of course, all after the fact.  But, to date, no one has ever been convicted of anything; and, probably never will be.  Just as there has never been a conviction associated with the housing collapse and banking failures that were responsible for the recession that started nearly 6 years ago.  That's why the Dodd-Frank reform act was just a show; written by the two Democrats who's actions in the Senate and House banking committees may have created some of the conditions that lead up to the Great Recession.  But, we will ultimately find out that Dodd-Frank was overkill; just adding layers upon layers of nightmarish regulations to already heavily regulated banking and financial system.  The financial and banking failures will continue to pile up; some because people or companies found legal ways to skirt the law.   Eventually,  Dodd-Frank will have to be replaced with something else. Just as Dodd-Frank replaced other previous regulations.

But, the fact will remain: Those who play by the rules will continue to do so.  Those who don't, won't.   And, no matter what the law or how many laws we have in place, it will always be too late when we ultimately find out that a law has been broken.

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