The Banking and Finance Debate
The debate on Banking and Finance focuses on the government’s role in regulating banks and financial institutions. Would greater regulation have prevented the Great Recession? Should the US ever bail out banks or lending companies? Do banking and finance regulations protect the middle-class or hurt the economy as a whole? Is the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau working?
Official Democratic position
The Democratic Party believes there must be additional checks on the financial system to make it fair for everyone. They will continue to “vigorously implement, enforce, and build on President Obama’s landmark Dodd-Frank financial reform law.” The Party supports consumer protection and the defense of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. They also support “an updated and modernized version of Glass-Steagall as well as breaking up too-big-to-fail financial institutions.”
Official Republican position
The Party supports the repeal of the Dodd-Frank Act and the abolishment of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The Republican Party believes market conditions should determine loan rates. They “support legislation to ensure that the problems of any financial institution can be resolved through the Bankruptcy Code [and] endorse prudent regulation of the banking system to ensure that FDIC-regulated banks are properly capitalized and taxpayers are protected against bailouts.”
Banking is regulated at both the federal and state level. The Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) "establishes uniform principles, standards, and report forms". The primary federal regulators are the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), the Federal Reserve Board (of which there are 12 regional boards), and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. State-chartered banks are additionally regulated by a state regulatory agency.
The various regulations include rules on lending, deposits, anti-money laundering and anti-terrorism, consumer privacy, and community reinvestment. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) requires banks to file audited financial statements and make them publicly available. The Consumer Federal Protection Bureau investigates consumer complaints and enforces new consumer protection laws.
Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act 1999 - Repealed the portion of the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933 that regulated the relationship between investment banks and commercial banks
Sarbanes–Oxley Act of 2002 (SOX) - Increased financial reporting standards for all public company boards, management and public accounting firms
Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) 2008 - $700B government bailout in response to the Great Recession which planned to purchase assets and equity from financial institutions to strengthen the industry
Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act 2010 - Created Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and Financial Stability Oversight Council, many new regulations and reforms including changes in mortgage lending, and reduced TARP to $400B
Most Vocal on Banking and Finance
These are the candidates who focus on this issue the most, with the most liberal on this issue on the left and the most conservative on this issue on the right. Click on the circles to see more information.
The Spectrum on Banking and Finance
These are the candidates who are most liberal, most conservative, and most moderate on this specific issue. Click on each candidate to see more information.
American Bankers Association - Largest advocacy group of US Bankers
Americans for Financial Reform - Working to reform the US financial sector to serve the economy as a whole
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau - Agency of the US government responsible for consumer protection in the financial sector