Wall Street reforms missing deadlines like Obamacare

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Financial experts worry that if the Obama administration deals with Wall Street regulations the same way it has rolled out Obamacare, haphazard rule-making could derail the economic recovery.

International finance and regulation expert John Alan James of Pace University told The Daily Caller News Foundation that the federal regulatory regime has grown so confusing for businesses and regulators alike that it’s now “a nightmare.”

For businesses attempting to digest both the Affordable Care Act and Dodd-Frank, it’s like having “cancer and heart disease,” James said.

The Obama administration has been hard-pressed to implement its federal health care overhaul successfully. Avik Roy reported that during the first three years of implementation, half of all legally mandated Affordable Care Act deadlines were missed. Dodd-Frank, too, has missed 60 percent of its mandated deadlines, according to recent reports.

On health care, the early results haven’t always been encouraging. Many states have reported higher Obamacare premiums than are currently enjoyed by residents. Insurance companies including Aetna and UnitedHealth have reacted by refusing to participate in some state-based exchanges.

James fears similar problems will arise for banks if Dodd-Frank regulations are now rushed through in response to the missed deadlines.

Laws mandating such widespread regulation force regulators to write rules so quickly that they can’t understand their own regulations or how everything will work together, he said.

James argued that an overly complex regulatory regime will set the country “right back to where we were with the Carter administration.”

The 2,500-page Dodd-Frank law has amassed almost 15,000 pages of regulations already, according to James, but the rule-making is only 39 percent done.

“Chief compliance officers with some of the largest banks in the world can’t keep up with the demands,” James told TheDCNF. “They tell me, ‘we’ve had to go through roughly 300,000 pages of these mandates, but when we ask the regulators what it all means, they’re just as confused.’”

While some observers believe a slower pace is the right answer, the Obama administration wants to move full speed ahead. Regulators are scheduled to meet Monday to discuss ways to accelerate a process many Dodd-Frank proponents believe is taking far too long.

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