The Real Deal New York

SEC may have tricky time scaling back Dodd-Frank

Changes to the rule are open to judicial review
February 06, 2017 06:15PM

President The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission seal and Donald Trump (Credit: Getty Images)

Legal challenges may stand in the way of President Trump’s efforts to scale back Dodd-Frank.

Trump signed an executive order on Friday requiring the U.S. Treasury Department to roll back the post-crisis package of financial regulations, but the Securities and Exchange Commission might have a difficult time following through on the order. The SEC can’t repeal Dodd-Frank outright since it’s an act of Congress — the agency can only tweak it or create exemptions, according to the Wall Street Journal reported. But even those changes face possible hurdles in the form of judicial review.

“This is not going to be simple, fast or cheap,” Joseph Grundfest, a Stanford professor who served as a Democratic SEC commissioner during the Reagan administration, told the Journal.

Companies can file lawsuits if they can show that the rule change would cause them significant damage. This could slow down the SEC’s already complicated amendment process.

Many have speculated that Trump would take aim at the Volcker rule in the Dodd-Frank Act,, which prohibits banks that accept consumer deposits from trading on their own accounts. Trump’s fellow New York developers, including Steve Witkoff, have expressed hopes that the new president would “defang” the regulation, and before signing the executive order, Trump acknowledged that his friends would benefit from deregulation.

“I have so many people, friends of mine, that had nice businesses.They can’t borrow money,” Trump said. “They just can’t get any money because the banks just won’t let them borrow it because of the rules and regulations in Dodd-Frank.” [WSJ] — Kathryn Brenzel