Regulating Wall Street: The Dodd–Frank Act and the New Architecture of Global Finance, a review
This article is a review of a 531 page book that in turn is a review and evaluation of the 2319 page Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act passed by Congress on July 16, 2010. The overriding theme of the book is to pose two approaches to attaining financial stability in the future. One approach is to establish a council of wise men and women supported by an army of highly skilled professional financial economists to formulate and implement regulations designed to prevent future financial crises that wreak havoc on the real economy and require financial support from taxpayers. This is the approach of the Dodd–Frank Act. The second approach proposed by the authors of this book is to design a taxing system that taxes systemically important financial institutions on the basis of their contribution to systemic risk. Borrowing ideas from the literature on the taxation of negative externalities their view is that financial institutions that create crises should pay for the clean-up. They also argue that requiring the financial polluters to pay for the creation of systemic risk will reduce the supply of systemic risk. The reader is invited to decide which approach is best.
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