Thomas Donohue, president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, today issued a full-throated defense of the banking industry and its role in helping American businesses grow. In a speech at the Nasdaq Stock Market in New York, Donohue called for Congress and regulators to lighten the regulatory burden on banks of all sizes that he said has limited financing for all kinds of companies and stymied growth. “Don’t forget that Wall Street and Main Street are inextricably linked,” he said. “They depend on each other.”
Donohue pointed out that the financial system is much more stable today, with higher levels of capital and “needed reforms” to derivatives. “But Dodd-Frank, in combination with Basel III, got too much wrong — and we’re paying a steep price,” he added. “Our economic engine is sputtering. The last eight years of restrictive, punitive, redundant, and overlapping regulations have undermined our system’s ability to finance the growth of companies large and small.”
Dodd-Frank’s costs have spread into the broader economy, he said, with one-third of corporate finance executives saying they had to increase customer prices to comply with Dodd-Frank and 20 percent saying that had delayed or canceled investments. To address the burden, Donohue called for reforms to the CFPB and FSOC; relief from systemic risk regulation for regional and midsize banks; transparency for global regulatory negotiations in Basel, Switzerland; and stopping the Labor Department’s controversial fiduciary rule and the CFPB’s arbitration rule.