Dodd-Frank’s Regulatory Surge: Quantifying Its Regulatory Restrictions and Improving Its Economic Analyses
by Patrick McLaughlin, Robert Greene
March 05, 2014
The over-800-page Dodd-Frank Act will create numerous new regulatory restrictions, but no one knows just how many it will create or what benefits we will get in exchange for these regulations. This study applies the methodology of RegData—which quantifies regulations using text analysis of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR)—to objectively determine the number of new restrictions the Dodd-Frank has created and will create. We estimate that Dodd-Frank will increase regulatory restrictions by 32 percent, yielding more new restrictions than were created between 1997 and 2010. The poor quality of federal financial regulators’ economic analyses of their Dodd-Frank rulemakings makes it nearly impossible to anticipate their potential costs and benefits with any confidence. This massive total increases the urgency of the need for improved economic analysis. Federal financial regulators should be required to conduct economic analyses with at least the same rigor required of executive agencies.