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Obama at the CrossroadsPolitics, Markets, and the Battle for America's Future$
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Lawrence R. Jacobs and Desmond S. King

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199845361

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199845361.001.0001

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Institutional Empowerment and Strangulation

Institutional Empowerment and Strangulation

Bureaucratic Politics and Financial Reform in the Obama Administration1

(p.33) 2 Institutional Empowerment and Strangulation
Obama at the Crossroads

Daniel Carpenter

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses financial reform and regulation under the Obama administration. It details the passage of the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd–Frank Act), which initiated a major overhaul of American financial regulations and represented the Obama administration's main structural attack on the financial crisis of 2008 and the recession that followed. It argues that attempts to reshape the landscape in financial policy and regulation were only partially successful. Attempts to constrain leverage at top investment banks through stringent legislative standards were limited by a strong predilection to defer to existing regulators and international capital standards (the so-called Basel accords); stronger versions of derivative trading restrictions were abandoned for weaker, though still constraining, alternatives.

Keywords:   Barack Obama, financial regulation, financial policy, Dodd–Frank Act, 2008 financial crisis, investment banks

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