July 2011

U.S. Domestic and International Financial Reform Policy: Are G20 Commitments and the Dodd-Frank Act in Sync?

Daniel E. Nolle


The Dodd-Frank Act of 2010 is the keystone policy response directed at reforming U.S. financial system activities and oversight in the wake of the 2007-2009 financial crisis. The United States also has financial system reform policy commitments in the international arena, including in particular by virtue of its membership in the G20. This analysis considers U.S. policy initiatives related to a core dimension of financial system reform: risks posed by systemically important financial institutions ("SIFIs"). It provides a comparison of SIFI policy initiatives and timetables under both the Dodd-Frank Act and the G20 agenda, as reflected in the ongoing work plan of the Financial Stability Board (FSB), and poses the question "Are U.S. domestic and international financial system reform commitments in sync?" While finding that, fundamentally, the answer is "yes," the detailed comparison yields two caveats with potential policy implications. First, the two agendas differ in their relative emphasis on the coverage of both banks and nonbanks. The G20/FSB focus, at least over the near-term, is bank-centric compared with the Dodd-Frank Act, which consistently addresses both bank and nonbank financial firms. Second, implementation of Dodd-Frank Act provisions is subject to long-established U.S. law mandating that there be sufficient opportunity for public input into the rulemaking process, whereas the G20/FSB process has been less systematic and transparent on public consultation and feedback. The lesser emphasis on transparency and public input characterizing the G20/FSB policy development process may be attributable in part to the somewhat more rapid pace of the G20/FSB agenda relative to corresponding Dodd-Frank Act timelines. These observations may be relevant to the current debate over the speed and scope of Dodd-Frank Act implementation measures, and to the discussion about the future international competitiveness of U.S. banks and nonbank financial firms.

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Keywords: G20, Dodd-Frank Act, Financial Stability Board, financial system reform, global financial system, systemically important financial institutions, G-SIFI, G-SIB

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Last Update: July 10, 2020