The Dodd-Frank Act: A New Era of Financial Regulation and the Implications for the Insurance Industry

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On July 21, 2010, President Obama signed the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Act) into Law. The passage of the Act ends the first, lengthy chapter of financial services reform that in many ways began with the 2008 collapse of Bear Stearns and accelerated with the continued struggles of financial services firms throughout the next years. The next chapter, which will include hundreds of rulemakings and studies, along with the likelihood of “clean-up” legislation as early as the next session of Congress, will play a pivotal role in determining the detail brush-work on the new regulatory regime whose broad-brush strokes were set forth under the Act.

As we have done throughout the course of the regulatory reform debate, we focus on the Act’s impact on the regulation and operation of our insurance company clients.1 We have set forth below a summary of what we believe are the provisions of the Act having the most direct effect on insurers, and we highlight implications those provisions will or may have for the insurance industry.

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