June 9,2017

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Washington DC, The House on Thursday passed the Financial CHOICE Act, legislation to overhaul and replace the failed Dodd-Frank Act that has contributed to the worst economic recovery of the last 70 years.“Every promise of Dodd-Frank has been broken,” said Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), as he read letters from Americans about how they were declined home, automobile and small business loans due to Dodd-Frank’s burdensome regulations.  “Fortunately there is a better, smarter way.  It’s called the Financial CHOICE Act.  It stands for economic growth for all, but bank bailouts for none.  We will end bank bailouts once and for all.  We will replace bailouts with bankruptcy.  We will replace economic stagnation with a growing, healthy economy,” he said.

“We will make sure there is needed regulatory relief for our small banks and credit unions, because it’s our small banks and credit unions that lend to our small businesses that are the jobs engine of our economy and make sure the American dream is not a pipe dream,” said Chairman Hensarling.

CHOICE, which stands for Creating Hope and Opportunity for Investors, Consumers and Entrepreneurs, has received strong support from community banks and credit unions.  Large financial institutions did not offer their support for the Financial CHOICE Act.  Instead, Wall Street CEOs have publicly said they do not support repealing Dodd-Frank.

The Congressional Budget Office reports the Financial CHOICE Act would reduce the deficit by $33.6 billion over 10 years and that the bill’s regulatory relief would benefit community banks and credit unions.  The nation’s largest banks would be unlikely to raise enough capital to meet the bill’s requirement for substantial regulatory relief, the CBO reported.

FINANCIAL CHOICE ACT AT A GLANCE:

BANKRUPTCY, NOT BAILOUTS

No more bailouts:  that’s at the core of the Financial CHOICE Act. With changes to the bankruptcy code, large financial firms can fail without disrupting the entire economy or forcing hardworking taxpayers to pay for more bailouts.

ACCOUNTABILITY FOR WALL STREET AND WASHINGTON

The Financial CHOICE Act includes the toughest penalties in history for those who commit financial fraud and insider trading.  Holding Wall Street accountable with the toughest penalties in history will deter corporate wrongdoing and better protect consumers. At the same time the Financial CHOICE Act holds Wall Street accountable, it also holds Washington accountable. Tougher accountability for Wall Street and Washington will protect the integrity of our markets so they benefit ordinary Americans who are working, saving and investing.

STRONGLY CAPITALIZED BANKS

Dodd-Frank’s one-size-fits-all regulations treat all financial institutions the same, regardless of their size.  That makes no sense and hurts smaller, hometown banks and credit unions that did nothing to cause the last financial crisis.

The Financial CHOICE Act is based on two important principles:  First, all banks need to be well-capitalized and, second, community banks and credit unions deserve relief from the crushing burden of over-regulation. Under the Financial CHOICE Act, banks and credit unions will qualify for regulatory relief if they elect to maintain enough capital to ensure that if they get in trouble, taxpayers won’t be forced to bail them out. Ninety-eight percent of the financial institutions that met the Financial CHOICE Act’s requirements for being well-capitalized did not fail during the financial crisis.  Of the miniscule percentage that did fail, none posed a systemic risk.

EMPOWER AMERICANS

The Financial CHOICE Act grows our economy from Main Street up.  Dodd-Frank tries to control the economy from Washington down.  The Financial CHOICE Act will help get credit and capital into the hands of working men and women to fuel their economic growth.