Wall Street reform gets Treasury defense

nyse_building_wall_street.jc.top.jpgDeputy Treasury Secretary Neal Wolin defended the Wall Street reform law, saying it beats the alternative, a collapsed financial system. By Jennifer Liberto, senior writer


WASHINGTON (CNNMoney) -- An Obama administration official gave a strong defense of the Wall Street reform law Tuesday, saying the measure costs a lot less than the alternative: a collapsed financial system.

During a speech at the Pew Charitable Trusts on Tuesday, Deputy Treasury Secretary Neal Wolin batted down accusations, from Republicans and the banking industry, that regulators were working too quickly or that reforms would be too costly.

"We say that the costliest system of all is one that's prone to collapse," said Wolin said. "What happened in 2008 and 2009 was vastly more costly than implementing the various pieces of Dodd-Frank."

The reform law -- known as the Dodd-Frank Act -- has become a punching bag for House Republicans. They have introduced a litany of bills to "tweak" and undo parts of it.

The new bills aim to weaken the powers of the consumer financial protection bureau created by the measure, as well as rules that crack down on complex financial contracts called derivatives.

Wolin also countered a bigRepublican accusation that the consumer bureau is unaccountable. He said the consumer bureau answers to "Congress and the American people, " and that it must submit reports to and testify before Congress.

He also pointed out that a panel of regulators can overturn the consumer agency's rules, although that can only happen with a two-thirds vote to veto a rule.

Wolin also warned against efforts to overturn or water down rules that allow regulators to require big derivative players to put up margin requirements and capital to back up big bets they're making.

"Requiring the largest participants and dealers in derivatives markets to hold capital and margin is critical to improving the resilience of the financial system," Wolin said. To top of page

Frontline troops push for solar energy
The U.S. Marines are testing renewable energy technologies like solar to reduce costs and casualties associated with fossil fuels. Play
25 Best Places to find rich singles
Looking for Mr. or Ms. Moneybags? Hunt down the perfect mate in these wealthy cities, which are brimming with unattached professionals. More
Fun festivals: Twins to mustard to pirates!
You'll see double in Twinsburg, Ohio, and Ketchup lovers should beware in Middleton, WI. Here's some of the best and strangest town festivals. Play
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 16,982.59 22.02 0.13%
Nasdaq 4,444.91 -4.65 -0.10%
S&P 500 1,978.91 0.57 0.03%
Treasuries 2.49 0.02 0.89%
Data as of 11:38pm ET
Company Price Change % Change
Apple Inc 99.02 1.35 1.38%
Facebook Inc 74.92 -0.27 -0.36%
Bank of America Corp... 15.50 -0.09 -0.58%
Dollar Tree Inc 54.87 -0.08 -0.15%
Family Dollar Stores... 75.74 15.08 24.86%
Data as of 4:03pm ET

Sections

Herbalife shares tumble after the maker of nutritional supplements reports earnings that fall short of analysts' estimates. More

New annual report from U.S. government shows the long-term prognosis for Medicare has improved thanks to slower health spending, while the outlook for Social Security remains unchanged. More

Online dating site OkCupid found its users were more likely to have conversations when it told them they were more compatible than in reality. More

Actor-founded This Bar Saves Lives had Hollywood connections, but learned Start-Up 101 the hard way. More

Steve Mason, a pastor from California, inherited more than $100,000 in student loan debt when his 27-year-old daughter died suddenly in 2009. With interest and late penalties, the debt has since ballooned to $200,000. More

Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.