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Talk about a paralyzed Congress. The Executive branch is about as bad with less reason to be. The most important element of the Dodd-Frank legislation, the Volker Rule, is stuck on its way to implementation with less reason than Congress has for being polarized. Less than 40% of the bill has been implemented. The Volker Rule would bar banks from using their own funds when trading securities. It is true that no one knows for sure whether Dodd-Frank will prevent another melt-down, but unless we get on with implementing it, we will never know. There is a huge but obvious problem. Each of five agencies is involved in writing the implementation policies. And each has a veto! To make matters worse, there is a lot of overlap in the duties of several agencies. Three other elements of Dodd-Frank face the same hurdles.

The Volker Rule is important because it is the lead provision for limiting the risk banks can pose to tax-payers. With more than 60% of the legislation still to go, it is high time Obama built a few fires under the feet of the regulators. For starters, he could begin proceedings toward streamlining the Executive branch of government. He considered doing just that back in 2009, but abandoned the idea, apparently to avoid a pervasive turf war among the many prima donnas. He needs to think again.


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