Financial Reform Watch

Published — November 15, 2010 Updated — May 19, 2014 at 12:19 pm ET

Reform Reading: 500 lobbyists’ meetings and counting

Introduction

As predicted, lobbyists are swarming the U.S. financial regulatory agencies to influence and/or weaken new rules required by the Dodd-Frank law. By one tally, regulators have had at least 510 meetings with lobbyists representing 325 organizations since the Dodd-Frank law was signed in July, the Los Angeles Times’ Nathaniel Popper reports.

With months yet to go before all Dodd-Frank regulations are finalized, some regulators are getting tired of the repeated requests for meetings. “I don’t think it’s a very valuable use of their time or mine, because that is not the direction we were instructed to go by Congress,” Bart Chilton, a member of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, told the newspaper.

Bachus concerned about “regulatory climate”

The Securities and Exchange Commission is getting an early taste of what Republican Spencer Bachus has in mind for the Financial Services Committee’s oversight of the agency under his chairmanship. In a letter to SEC Chairman Mary Schapiro, Bachus said the agency should refrain from slapping new regulations on small companies. “We are concerned that the current regulatory climate is having the effect of discouraging access to the U.S. capital markets,” Bachus said in the letter, which was obtained by Politico. Bachus is now the most senior Republican on the panel and is widely expected to win the committee chairmanship despite an unexpected challenge from California Republican Ed Royce.

Schapiro’s reaction may be evident on Thursday, when the SEC holds the agency’s annual forum on small business capital formation. The agenda for the event, which will be webcast at www.sec.gov, includes discussing how the Dodd-Frank law’s required say-on-pay rules for shareholders can be scaled for smaller companies. Schapiro is scheduled to speak just before the meeting breaks for lunch.

Consumer agency builds staff

Elizabeth Warren, the architect of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau that will open its doors in July, has asked the Treasury Department’s Peggy Twohig to help create the agency’s office to oversee non-bank supervision, the Wall Street Journal’s Deborah Solomon reports. Twohig now heads Treasury’s consumer protection office after spending 17 years at the Federal Trade Commission.

Another potential hire: Steven Antonakes, the Massachusetts state bank commissioner. The newspaper said Antonakes is being considered to help create the consumer agency’s bank supervision unit. Both jobs will carry the power to conduct examinations and to protect consumers from fraud or abusive practices.

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