Less Than Half Of Wall Street Reform Rules Are Finalized

President Obama yesterday nominated prosecutor Mary Jo White to become the next head of the Securities and Exchange Commission. An important part of her task will be implementing the Dodd-Frank financial reform law, which is slowly grinding through the rule-making process.

According to a new report from the Government Accountability Office, there is still quite a bit of work to do, as 52 percent of the law is not yet in place, and no rulemaking at all has occurred for nearly one-quarter of its provisions:

Overall, GAO identified 236 provisions of the act that require regulators to issue rulemakings across nine key areas. As of December 2012, regulators had issued final rules for about 48 percent of these provisions; however, in some cases the dates by which affected entities had to comply with the rules had yet to be reached. Of the remaining provisions, regulators had proposed rules for about 29 percent, and rulemakings had not occurred for about 23 percent.

Banks have already managed to win delays on key regulations, and successfully convinced international regulators to water down other new rules. Further delay on the part of regulators will just extend the amount of time that taxpayers are on the hook for the financial system’s failures.