Former U.S. Senator Chris Dodd spoke with Bloomberg Television’s Tom Keene and Brendan Greeley about the fifth anniversary of the Dodd-Frank act, his namesake legislature.
On the results and success of Dodd-Frank, Dodd said, “I think they’re doing a good job, they’re taking their time to do it. But if I could wish anything I wish they had been able to move along more quickly… time will tell obviously whether or not corrections are needed.”
Dodd added: “The Consumer Protection Bureau is actually doing a very good job. And ‘too big to fail’ is over with.”
When asked about his work with Dodd-Frank and whether he is on conversational terms with Jamie Dimon and Brian Moynihan, Dodd said: “Absolutely. I’ve run into them on a number of occasions and, again, they’ve had frustrations with this. There’s been costs associated with implementation of this. But a friend the other day, I’m not going to tell you which of the major banks it was, that called the CEO and said, I thought I’d never make this call to you. But I want to tell you I’m a better bank today because of your law.”
On the 2016 election, Dodd said: “There’s not a lot of dissimilarities between the people showing up to see Bernie Sanders and seeing Donald Trump. And I think we’re not taking note of that strongly enough, in my view.”
Chris Dodd on Dodd-Frank video and transcript below
TOM KEENE: A special interview now from five years ago. He’s an original card-carrying Watergate class of ’74 member. Christopher Dodd served his and his father’s Connecticut for near on four decades. His crowning achievement Dodd-Frank.
Now 5, count them 5 years on, the Senator from Willimantic joins us from Washington this morning. Senator I know you’re taking a lot of victory laps. I want to push against it (PH). What is your biggest disappointment right now in the implementation of your Dodd-Frank?
CHRISTOPHER DODD: Well, first, I’m delighted, the fact that you know, I’m from Willimantic is very impressive. So thank you for recognizing Willimantic, Connecticut.
Look, it’s taken longer than we would have liked, a lot of this. It’s complicated and I know there are a lot of frustrations. Lending institutions, financial institutions, if there’s one thing they love more than anything else it’s certainty. And when you have as long as it’s taken for some of the rule-making to get into place that’s been frustrating and I appreciate the frustration.
But I think most would agree that it makes more sense to try to get it right then get it quick. So the frustration is tempered a little bit by the fact that I think they’re doing a good job, they’re taking their time to do it. But if I could wish anything I wish they had been able to move along more quickly.
KEENE: You and your father represented the bankers of Greenwich, Connecticut, for years. Are you — is Jamie Dimon and Brian Moynihan your frenemy? I mean, with Dodd-Frank, are you guys on conversational terms?
DODD: Absolutely. I’ve run into them on a number of occasions and, again, they’ve had frustrations with this. There’s been costs associated with implementation of this. But a friend the other day, I’m not going to tell you which of the major banks it was, that called the CEO and said, I thought I’d never make this call to you. But I want to tell you I’m a better bank today because of your law. I’ve got better capital, lower leverage, more liquid assets. Lending is up 30%. We’re now 64 months of generating jobs. I mean this is working.
That’s not to say it’s perfect. Obviously when you have a job of that magnitude there will be clearly be time going down the road where we’ll find things that we either overreacted to or underreacted to. To the extent I suppose that this is not an unfair way to characterize this, but I have people on the so-called Left who say we didn’t do enough. I have people on the Right who said we went way too far. When I get those kind of complains I suspect we got it about right.
There’s greater stability today in our lending institutions. You have greater transparency. The Consumer Protection Bureau is actually doing a very good job. And “too big to fail” is over with. And we believe that to be the case with the stress test, the funeral plans, the resolution authority.
DODD: So we think we’ve done a pretty good job with this. And time will tell obviously whether or not corrections are needed.
BRENDAN GREELEY: Well, let’s talk about time telling the success of any securities regulation is not just in the execution of writing the regulations but the oversight over time, 10, 15 years down the line. Is Elizabeth Warren the right standard bearer right now to hold onto that?
DODD: Well, she cares about this and is very knowledgeable. I mean, one of the problems we have, and I say this respectfully, most members of Congress think they could easily be Secretary of State or President or Secretary of Defense. Very few of them think they could be Secretary of the Treasury.
And so when you talk about improving the learning curve on this and education in terms of financial matters, she actually brings a great deal of knowledge to the subject matter. And clearly, I would have preferred, if one of the things would have differed, I would like to see, have self-funding at the SEC.
DODD: We have self-funding for all the regulators of commercial banks. But when it comes to investment banking and so forth, we don’t. I think that’s a mistake because you can starve these agencies. You’ve seen it happen with the Federal Trade Commission and others.
DODD: I think Elizabeth is a good person.
KEENE: I’ve got to interrupt on the news of the moment.
KEENE: Donald Trump did not go to the Chris Dodd charm school.
KEENE: I know this for certain. What would be your advice to Donald Trump to salvage the train wreck he’s involved in right now? I’m serious. What would be your advice to straighten this out?
DODD: Well, I don’t know. You could jump on him, add all the adjectives that people are adding here. And obviously the accusations about John McCain and others are just ludicrous on their face. But let me say something.
DODD: We’re taking too much time focusing on Donald Trump and his language. There’s another participant in this and it’s called the audience. And people are showing up. Not just because they want to go to an entertainment show. There’s a tremendous amount of frustration. There’s not a lot of dissimilarities between the people showing up to see Bernie Sanders and seeing Donald Trump. And I think we’re not taking note of that strongly enough, in my view.
With all the good news, and there is good news, about the economy improving dramatically, there’s an awful lot of people in our country who are not enjoying the good news. And they’re showing up at these events and looking for answers.
DODD: And so I know everybody wants to jump on Donald Trump–
DODD: And it’s easy and