Edited by Matthias Haentjens and Bob Wessels
The global financial crisis in 2008 precipitated an avalanche of activity and changes in US banking regulation. In that year, the United States Congress, the President and the regulators sought to turn back the tide of the financial crisis by using long-dormant tools and devising creative new programs to stabilize the financial system and restore liquidity to financial markets. Once the crisis was contained, the authorities proposed legislative and regulatory changes with the avowed purpose of preventing a future financial crisis. On 21 July 2010, President Obama signed the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (‘the Dodd–Frank Act’ or ‘the Act’) into law. The Dodd–Frank Act is the most significant overhaul of US financial regulation since the 1930s. The Dodd–Frank Act fundamentally changes the shape and scope of existing regulation and adds new regulation in a wide range of areas, including systemic risk oversight, derivatives, hedge funds, investor protection, credit rating agencies, consumer financial protection, and securitization, to name a few. In many areas, however, the legislation created only a general framework, leaving the key issues to be resolved by implementing regulations. The Act contains 400 new federal rule-making requirements, many of which are now in process, but most of which, particularly in the area of bank regulation, will take some time to implement. As a result of the financial crisis, there is heightened interest around the world in the powers available to resolve financial firms.
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