US Treasury releases plan to roll back Dodd-Frank bank regulations
19 June 2017
Last week, the US Treasury Department released the first of several reports on the 2010 Dodd-Frank “Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.” The reports will guide the Trump administration in rolling back the Obama-era legislation.
The proposed changes to Dodd-Frank grant the major banks a wishlist of demands to strip out most of the law’s minimal restrictions on their speculative activities. None of the top bankers whose fraudulent and in many cases illegal activities triggered the 2008 financial crash were prosecuted under Obama. Instead of serving long prison sentences for sending the economy into the worst slump since the 1930s and stripping tens of millions of people of their life savings, they were granted even greater control over the US and world economy and allowed to add billions more to their personal fortunes.
Now, under Trump, the largely cosmetic reforms instituted under Obama are being removed by an administration that includes Goldman Sachs alumni in top posts, including Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, and embodies in its policies and personnel the American financial oligarchy.
The Dodd-Frank Act was passed amid intense social anger over the financial crash and multi-trillion-dollar government bailout of the banks. As the World Socialist Web Site wrote at the time, Dodd-Frank “was intended to shield the major financial institutions and regulatory agencies from any substantive change while leading the public to think that the predatory and illegal practices of Wall Street were being curbed.”
Not only did the act not break up the big banks or impose limits on their size and power, it failed to reinstate more serious limits on speculation,…