Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew said Thursday that Dodd-Frank Act rule writing and enforcement have played an important part in the economic recovery, which has added 8 million jobs in the last 44 months.
“Dodd-Frank is meeting the challenge of regulating today’s financial markets. These reforms are transforming the way Wall Street operates,” Lew said.
The Treasury secretary warned that if the efforts by some in Congress succeed at reining in the budgets of the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, it would lead to virtual deregulation.
“Even with best rules, [we] will fall short without effective supervision and enforcement. We must provide regulators with financial resources,” he said, adding that an American who has lost his or her home or job because of fraud could be told a safe financial system is a luxury the nation cannot afford.
Without specifically mentioning proposals to impose a charge on financial advisors to pay for increased SEC exams, Lew said making fees the source of regulatory funding for the SEC and the CFTC would insulate them from attacks on their operations in the congressional budget process.
Countering critics who claim it hasn’t happened, Lew said Dodd-Frank has ended “too big to fail.”
Lew also warned that the refusal of many foreign governments to enact financial oversight as tough as Dodd-Frank cannot be allowed to lead to the watering down of domestic regulatory standards.
While the SEC has begun to develop money market mutual fund standards, Lew said the Financial Stability Oversight Council will keep up its involvement in the issue.
The FSOC, a consortium of the nation’s financial regulators, proposed money fund standards after the SEC dragged its feet. Former SEC Chair Mary Schapiro has credited FSOC pressure with spurring the agency to develop money fund oversight proposals.
Lew’s comments came during a speech at the Pew Charitable Trusts in Washington, D.C.