SIFMA Recaps Dodd-Frank Status

Terry Flanagan

As market participants criticize regulators on Dodd-Frank implementation, SIFMA CEO preaches patience.

SIFMA, the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, an industry trade organization that represents banks, asset managers and securities firms, attempted to bridge the gap between regulators and market participants.

“While Dodd-Frank is the law, by design it is a framework. It leaves room for interpretation. It provides guidance for rulemaking. That’s what the regulators have been working on for the past year,” remarked Timothy Ryan, chief executive of SIFMA, at an event hosted by data provider SimCorp, after Nasdaq’s closing bell on September 6.

Often pegged for their inabilities to keep up with the markets, regulators have been criticized for stirring financial reform, but missing deadlines for action—and market participants have noticed.

“Regulators are faced with a daunting task of implementing Dodd-Frank. There are a lot of balls in the air and we’re not as targeted as we should be,” said Ryan. “To complicate matters, multiple regulators have joint jurisdiction over the same markets and products.”

Yet, Ryan is keen to remind his peers that it is not very easy to implement the rules under the Dodd-Frank Act.

“You’ve heard how big the Dodd-Frank mandate is: 235 rulemakings, already generating 41 reports, 71 studies authored by 11 different federal agencies and bureaus,” Ryan said. “Much work has been already done – as of July 1, we have finalized 38 new rules… but, 26 deadlines have been missed, 215 rules have yet to be proposed and 122 rulemaking deadlines come due in the third quarter of 2011 alone.”

The rules that have still to be implemented represent “more than a quarter of all required rulemakings—all taking place in the midst of an unstable economic environment,” according to Ryan.

Improving transparency of accounting standards, performing bank stress tests, and derivatives reform were among the Dodd-Frank accomplishments that Ryan highlighted. In addition to more Dodd-Frank initiatives, Ryan forewarned market participants to prepare for adjustments required by the pending Basel III standards surrounding “higher capital requirements.”

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