Money never sleeps. And, when it comes to drilling holes in Dodd-Frank, it never gets tired.
Matt Taibbi explains the 5 easy steps Wall Street is using to kill financial reform in the United States. Step 1 is to “strangle it in the womb,” for example, by watering down the new regulatory concepts in the bill. The second is to “sue, sue, sue”—by tying up the reforms in court. Step 3 is, “if you can’t win, stall,” so that major provisions are postponed indefinitely. Then, in step 4, the goal is to “bully the regulators,” both directly and by lobbying Congress to rein them in. The fifth and final step is to “pass a gazzilion loopholes,” as another way of gutting Dodd-Frank.
While it’s incredibly difficult to get a regulatory reform passed, it’s far easier – and more profitable to politicians – to kill it. Creating legislation is a tough process. But watering down legislation? Strangling it with lawsuits and comment letters and blue-ribbon committees? Not so tough, it turns out.
You can’t buy votes in a democracy, at least not directly, but our democracy is run through a bureaucracy. Human beings can cast a vote, or rally together during protests and elections, but real people – even committed professionals – get tired of running through mazes of motions and countermotions, or reading thousands of pages about swaps-execution facilities and NRSROs. They will fight through it for five days, or maybe even six, but on the seventh they will watch a baseball game, or Tanked, instead of diving into that morass of hellish acronyms one more time.
But Wall Street money never sleeps, and it never gets tired of going over our heads.