The Sisyphean Task Of Dodd-Frank Rulemaking

Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP
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[author: Anthony N. Moshirnia]

Much has been written in this space and others regarding the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (“Dodd-Frank Act”), and its likely and observed impact on the business and legal landscape (e.g., executive compensation, whistleblower incentives, and “conflict minerals”. Not least among the Act’s effects is its mandate for a large number of rulemakings across government regulatory bodies. In total, the Dodd-Frank Act mandated 398 different rulemakings from 20 different regulatory agencies. In some cases, the Act requires more than one agency to issue rules on the same topic. Congress also specified a rulemaking schedule that applies to most of the rules required under the Act. 275 of the required rulemakings carry Congressionally mandated deadlines or annual requirements.

So far, regulators’ ability to stick to this schedule has been underwhelming. As of May 1, 2012, a total of 221 Dodd-Frank rulemaking deadlines have passed. Regulators have only met 73 of those deadlines with finalized rules, a mere one-third of those required. Regulators failed to release even proposed rules for 21 of those 148 missed deadlines.

Indeed, of the total 398 rulemakings mandated by the Dodd-Frank Act, only 108 of them have been met with final rules. Regulators have proposed rules that would have met the requirement for 146 additional rulemakings – had they been finalized on schedule. No proposals have been made for the remaining 144 rulemakings, although the deadlines for some of them have not yet passed.

In light of the current rulemaking backlog, it appears that we may be waiting to assess the final impact of the Dodd-Frank Act for many months to come.

 

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