Christopher Dodd and Barney Frank defended their historic Dodd-Frank Act today at the MarketCounsel conference in Las Vegas.
The former politicians dismissed concerns raised by industry groups that requirements like the Volcker rule or a fiduciary standard for retail advisors might cause firms to dump smaller investors.
“People have been declaring Armageddon and coming up with doomsday scenarios in all of this,” Dodd said. “My experience has been that institutions manage just fine.”
Dodd formerly served as a senator from Connecticut and chaired the banking committee.
“I sometimes feel we have more confidence in the free market than the [industry] people out there,” said Frank, a former Massachusetts congressman who chaired the House financial services committee.
“I do not believe that in the American free-market economy, a significant segment of demand is going to go unmet by institutions,” Frank said.
The former politicians, both Democrats, said they were disappointed they got little Republican support for the law, but insisted all parties were heard.
“[Our] names on a bill don’t reflect the fact that many people were involved,” Dodd said. “It was very much an inclusive process. … There were 60 amendments [and] many provisions of the bill were authored by Republican members of Congress” along with input from officials in the George W. Bush administration.
Firms that began implementing Dodd-Frank rules early on got ahead of the curve, Dodd added.
The industry should “give a chance for the regulations to work a bit, and I think over the next three years that will be case,” he said. "That will give us a chance to settle in and see what’s working or not working…. I’m quite confident that a future Congress will look at this and ask if it’s working right and make improvements.”