Dodd-Frank Wall Street Act Needs Tweaking

Lucas, Conway are pushing CFTC for rule changes.

Published on: Jul 20, 2011

Representatives Frank Lucas, R-Okla., and Michael Conaway, R-Texas, have sent a letter to Gary Gensler, the chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. The letter provides specific recommendations for improving the implementation process for Title VII of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. They want the CFTC to make its rules available to the public before they are voted on by the Commission, and for the CFTC to publish an implementation plan and timeline. They also want a cost-benefit analysis rationalizing the sequence of rules and clarifying the treatment of affiliate trades and extraterritorial scope.

On Tuesday, Lucas followed up with a speech to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce where he shared his concern that some of the 3,500 pages of rulemaking seen so far are counterproductive. He told the gathering he's not suggesting a need to repeal Dodd-Frank, but that there are some changes needed.

"If you spread those pages out, you could cover a half acre of ground," Lucas said. "Now, imagining that end-to-end, those pages stretch 20 times higher than the Statue of Liberty is a somewhat abstract concept for me.  But back in Oklahoma, on a half acre of ground, I could grow about 20 bushels of wheat.  That's not much, but at least it's a more productive use of a half acre."

Lucas believes the CFTC's process has been flawed - but he and Conaway have put forth simple, common sense actions the CFTC can do to improve their process. He says each one is aimed at avoiding market disruption or economic harm from poorly vetted or rushed rules. According to Lucas balance is needed and the only people who don't understand that are the politicians and regulators in Washington.

"Inside the Beltway, there's a general unwillingness to consider that the regulators in charge of writing those pages and pages of rules may not have it quite right," Lucas said. "But instead of looking at how we can improve these rules and regulations to truly support and protect our economy, the Administration is retreating behind a smokescreen of rhetoric, framing this debate in black and white terms."