As the dust comes to settle and we struggle to recover from the Financial Crisis of 2008, outcry comes from the public for reform and regulation on the banking and investment bodies labeled as the catalysts for the current economic recession. Because of this, financial reform has become a major issue in domestic policy, creating divisions alongside party and economic class lines. But as we still reel from the financial meltdown it’s is becoming increasingly apparent that There seemed to be a brief reprieve in the tumultuous debate with the introduction of the Dodd Frank act which hoped to reign in, which many perceived as, uncontrolled, volatile financial institutions.
In the recent months however, Dodd-Frank has come under fire from critics that say that Dodd-Frank is too lenient and not strict enough on Wall Street, the least of which is that it doesn’t prosecute or penalize any of the high ranking executive officials of those who perpetrated the crisis. How is it that Dodd-Frank seems to have become defanged? Interestingly enough, to find the answer one only has to look a little more than a decade back at the introduction of the Graham-Bailey Act. The influence of interest groups and lobbyists like former Citi executive John Reed accelerated its passage through Congress. It the role of similarly interested actors that impede the process of current financial reform.
This paper will go in-depth at the issue of financial regulation and reform legislation and the intersection that occurs between the interests of Main Street and Wall Street. An analysis of the political and private intricacies surrounding the passages of Graham-Bailey will reveal how the interwoven influence of financial institutions and those acting on behalf of them helped precipitate this crisis and how it is making it easier for those responsible to keep on business as usual even in its aftermath.