Former Massachusetts Rep. Barney Frank (D) took to the pages of the Financial Times on Wednesday to promise that the project of financial reform would soon be finished — and to blame Republicans for the delay.
In an opinion piece, Frank defended the Dodd-Frank financial reform law, named for him and former Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd (D), while admitting "much necessary regulation is still not on the books" nearly three years after the bill's passage.
Because of Republican obstruction, the rules "will be completed in time to prevent the type of crises that they are intended to prevent, but later than they should be," Frank wrote.
He also responded to criticism that the financial law leaves too much authority to regulators. "Trying to be prescriptive would have required setting rules in concrete that we should allow to evolve with experience," he said. "Specificity without discretion would have been an invitation to evasion."
The former congressman predicted that the reelection of President Obama will convince financial business interests to work with the regulators, rather than against them.
He also noted a "growing bipartisan interest" in reforming derivative oversight, currently the responsibility of both the SEC and the CFTC.
Frank is the former chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, and left Congress after three decades at the end of the 2012 term.