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Barney Frank Would Award Regulators A's For Jobs Well Done

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A year after the passage of the Dodd-Frank Act, graphic designers continue to find new ways to explain how confusing it is and how little progress there's been on some of the rulemaking to implement it. According to Barney Frank, that notion could not be further from the truth. Speaking with Dealbook about the legislation, the Congressman cleared up a few other misconceptions, like the idea that Congress "punted" the most important regulatory decisions to the SEC and CFTC.

Frank: We didn't punt anything. You can't do these things without setting general rules. I mean, if the question is, should we have said specifically - first of all, there are two problems if you did things specifically. On the one hand, you get people to get around it. If you are very specific about what you have banned, I guarantee you these people will find other ways. You have to have more general such rules.

Or that the agencies are at all to blame for delays in rulemaking:

Dealbook: Now that we've asked the regulators to decide this and implement it, what grade would you give them? The SEC and the CFTC, how well are they doing?

Frank: Oh, A's. The problem is that they haven't been given the money. You have to take that into account. It's a little bit of like some of the teachers. If you evaluate teachers on how well the children do, you have to take into account the backgrounds of the children that they bring to school and their capacities.

Or that he should have any sympathy for "fat cats":

Well, I hate to say this but the impression that I get most is that their feelings are hurt. "Oh you were rude to us; you said we were fat cats; you hurt our feelings; we didn't cause this problem." I don't know how they can say that.

Dealbook: What do you say back?

Frank: Get over it. I'm in the kind of business where people say rude things about us all the time. I've said that to them. And to some extent, you did cause this problem and you have to accept that fact.

Dodd-Frank, One Year Later [Dealbook]