In April, federal financial agencies missed every single rulemaking deadline–26 of them–mandated by the massive Dodd-Frank financial overhaul law, according to a recent report by the law firm Davis, Polk & Wardell.
And with the year anniversary of the law's passage coming in July, a huge number of deadlines–108–are coming up this summer, many of which agencies are also likely to miss because of the huge workload. Most of these deal with the regulation of the risky derivatives market, and fall under the responsibility of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
"It has been clear since the passage of Dodd-Frank that the demands on the regulators are enormous and unprecedented," the law firm states. The CFTC and SEC have complained that despite modest budget increases, they do not have the resources to meet all their obligations.
The law firm, which has a thriving practice advising major trade associations and financial institutions about the new law, would not release the underlying data that inform its report, which it sells on a subscription basis.
But not all of the delays are necessarily because of work overload–there is also the matter of controversy. Examples of rulemaking deadlines missed in April that have drawn opposition by industry include the SEC's rule on rewarding whistleblowers when they bring to light fraud that is successfully prosecuted by the agency, which has drawn the opposition of the Chamber of Commerce and financial trade associations. In March, Federal Reserve Board chairman Ben Bernanke said the agency needed more time to work on the much-lobbied rule on debit interchange fees.