iBusiness, 2013, 5, 146-149
http://dx.doi.org/10.4236/ib.2013.53B031 Published Online September 2013 (http://www.scirp.org/journal/ib)
The Historical Dimension of the US Dodd-Frank Bill and
its Implications to the Financial Governance Reform in
Emerging Markets
Wenzhong Zhu1, Shen Rui2
1Professor of SEIB and researcher of Research Center of International Trade and Economics, Guangdong University of Foreign
Studies, Guangzhou 510410, China; 2Postgraduate student of SEIB, Guangdong University of Foreign Studies, Guangzhou 510410,
Email: Wenzhong8988@sina.com
Received July, 2013
After about three years of the sub-prime mortgage crisis, the American Congress passed its new financial supervision
bill on July 15, 2010, which is called Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. This act was then
singed to be in effect by President Obama on July 21. This act is named as the most serious financial supervision act
passed ever since the Great Depression in 1933. This paper systematically reviews and analyzes the background, major
content, effect, and histo rical dimension of the bill, and on th is basis, it presents some implications to the financial gov-
ernance reform in emerging markets, such as the maintenance of a proper level of financial deregulation, the protection
of interests of financial product consumers, the cultivation of ethical value and social responsibility of financial execu-
tives or government leaders, etc.
Keywords: Dodd-Frank Bill; Historical Dimension; Implication; Governance; Emerging Market
1. Introduction
In 2007, the subprime mortgage in the US triggered the
breakout of the global financial crisis which has not been
over even today. In 2009, to respond to the crisis, many
countries had taken measures of monetar y and fiscal pol-
icy to recover their economy. China has taken th e lead to
recover, but facing the new round of inflation, while
USA and EU are still in trouble of recovery and reces-
With a multi-dimension mode of financial supervision
and control, USA has taken measures from three aspects
including financial supervision law and regulation,
monetary policy system and fiscal policy system (Figure
1). After the financial crisis, USA has already taken both
monetary policy measures such as open market policy
operation, etc., and fiscal policy measures such as in-
creasing investment on infrastructure, etc., to respond to
it, and these measures have brought some negative ef-
fects on the recovery of the US economy. But tracing
back to the history, the ultimate root of this crisis is the
deregulation of financial supervision starting from 1970s.
Therefore, it is necessary for USA to revise its law of
financial supervision so as to pr event th e re-happening of
financial crisis.
In order to avoid the re-happening of similar financial
crisis, the US government launched the new financial
supervision bill. In 2000, Chris Dodd, Chairman of Sen-
ate Financial Services Committee, and Barney Frank,
chairman of House Financial Services Committee, rec-
ommended the revision of the financial supervision bill.
The draft of the bill was then revised in May, 2010, and
the revised bill was voted to pass by both Senate and
House in June, 2010. On July 21, 2010, the US president
signed and the bill came into effect, which is named as
the Dodd-Frank Bill.
This paper will discusses the content and influence of
the New US Financial Supervision Bill from a historical
dimension in order to propose some implications for the
financial supervision reform of emerging economies.
2. Content of the Dodd-Frank Bill
The aim of issuing the Dodd-Frank Bill is to in crease the
transparency and responsibility of the US banking and
financial system, and to end the “too big to fail” problem
of financial institutio ns so as to prevent the re-happening
of financial crisis. This bill contains the 16 provisions
such as Financial stability, Regulated clearing, Supervi-
sion power transfer to Currency Committee, FDIC and
Copyright © 2013 SciRes. IB
The Historical Dimension of the US Dodd-Frank Bill and its Implications to
the Financial Governance Reform in Emerging Markets 147
Fed, Regulating the advisors of hedge fund investment,
etc. The content of the Dodd-Frank Bill can be summa-
rized with the following characteristics: the protectio n of
consumer interests from fraud or risky trap financial ser-
vices, the avoidance of the problem of financial institu-
tions’ “too big to fall”, the reform of financial supervi-
sion regulation to prohibit financial institutions from
conducting transactions which may be in breach from the
demand of customers, the strengthened management of fi-
nancial derivatives' transactions, the strengthened manage-
ment of mortgage loans, and the perfection of executive
compensation system and corporate governance of finan-
cial institutions, and others.
3. Historical Dimension Analysis of the
Dodd-Frank Bill
The Dodd-Frank Bill is seen with historical importance
from the over 100-year American financial supervision
regulation history. Its core significance sees the US reen-
try into the era of financial re-regulation from deregula-
tion. The first US Banking Law came into being in 1863,
and ever since then the development history of the US
financial supervision reform has been nearly 150 years.
From the Table 1, it can be seen that in the past nearly
150 years, especially since 1933 great depression, the US
has adjusted, revised or reformed its financial
Laws and
regulations Fiscal policy system
Monetary policy
Figure 1. The three dimensions of the US financial supervision system.
Table 1. The Main US financial supervision acts in the history and their main provisions.
Time Bill Name Background Main provisions
1863 National Banking Act In the period of US Civil War
needing funds Establish the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency
to approve and control the national bank
1913 Federal Reserve Act In the period o f dynamic financial
environment and increasing financial risk Establish Fed, offer rescues to banks, and control
money supply
1933 Glass Steagall Act In the period of great depression Establish FDIC, and require banks to conduct
separate-business operation
1935 FDIC Improvement Act Having some problems u ns o l v e d
by the Glass Steagall Act Authorize FDIC take measures to deal with the
bankruptcy of b anks
1968- CSR Acts Having discrimination in banking
1968 Act aims to protect borrowers’ right to be informed;
1974 Act aims to remove sex, age, racial discrimination in
banking services; 1977 Act aims to remove discrimination
against living places in banking services, etc.
1980 Depository Institution
Deregulation and Monetary
Control Act
Increased competition in taking deposits,
and challenges of non-interest-bearing
check account deposits
The first deregulation act was passed to allow current
deposits to pay interests
1983 Garn-St. Germain Act In the driving force of further
deregulation Establish money market deposit accounts, and allow the
merger of cross-state banks
1987 Competitive Equality in
Banking Act Facing more and more bankrupt cases
of banks and financial institutions Allow FDIC to estab lish bridge banks taking over the
bankrupt banks
1994 The Riegle-Neal Interstate Bankin g
and Branching Efficiency Act Stronger and stronger customer demands
for convenient cross-state financial servicesPermit bank-holding companies to acquire banks across
states and conduct cross-state businesses
1999 Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act In the strong request for banks’
“mixed-business operation” an d
further deregulation
Allow bank-holding insurance companies and securities
firms to offer diversified financial services in order to
reduce risks
2001 USA PATRIOT Act In the danger of terrorism attack Require financial institutions to establish customer
identity, and check and report doubtful accounts to the
2003 Fair and Accurate Credit
Transactions Act In the danger of more and more theft
cases of customer identity
Enable each customer to receive at least one free credit
report, and require the federal trade committee to
facilitate the reporting of sufferers
2004 Check 21 Act More and popular e-transactions or
e-commerce Allow electronic checks to replace paper checks as
settlement instruments
2010 The Dodd-Frank Bill In the period of subprime mortgage crisis and
ongoing global financial crisis
Increase the transparency and responsibility of financial
system to protect the interest of consumers, and strengthen
the control on big financial institutions to prevent new
financial crises
Copyright © 2013 SciRes. IB
The Historical Dimension of the US Dodd-Frank Bill and its Implications to
the Financial Governance Reform in Emerging Markets
supervision regulations in resp onse to the change of gov-
ernment, society, market, and financial environment, and
especially the happening of some historic events.
At the same time, these series of financial supervision
laws and regulations in the history are made as institu-
tional tools of financial governance reform to timely
regulate or deregulate the financial market, which have
brought subsequent influences on the development of
financial market stability and national economy. But, of
course, if a deregulation act or financial governance re-
form policy is not properly treated or handled, it may
lead to the financial or economic crisis of the country or
the whole world.
From the historical dimension of the US financial
governance reforms, it can be clearly seen that before the
1930s, the US was over deregulated in the financial
market, making it possible for commercial banks to con-
duct mixed-business operation, as result, the Great de-
pression occurred, which brought the first big disaster to
the world economy. After the economic crisis, the US
Congress passed the Glass Steagall Act in 1933 to re-
quire commercial banks and investment banks to conduct
separate-business operation. The financial governance
reform from deregulation to regulation had maintained
the stability of the US economy from 1930s to 1980s.
However, in the late 1970s and the early 1980s, as a
result of pressure of financial market competition, espe-
cially from the non-bank financial institution, the US
passed the first act of financial deregulation, namely the
Depository Institution Deregulation and Monetary Con-
trol Act of 1980, to allow curren t deposits to pay interests
to customers and open fixed transaction accounts. A fur-
ther step of deregulation was achieved in 1993, when the
Riegle-Neal Interstate Banking and Branch ing Ef ficien cy
Act was passed to permit bank-holding companies to ac-
quire banks across states and conduct cross-state busi-
nesses, and in 1999 when Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act was
passed to allow bank-holding insurance companies and
securities firms to offer diversified financial services, and
in this period, the real sense of mixed-business operation
of financial institutions was once again in effect. Till 2007,
the financial deregulation had led to the innovation of fi-
nancial products such as the popularity of the so-called
financial derivative products and the loosened lending
policy of subprime mortgage facility, which had resulted
in the breaking of the recent global financial crisis.
Today, this global financial crisis triggered by the US
subprime mortgage crisis has not come into a complete
end. The Dodd-Frank Bill passed 1n 2010 has started the
new round of financial re-regulation.
4. Implications to the Financi a l G overnance
Reform in Emerging Markets
Historically, the Dodd-Frank Bill implies a new era of
American financial governance reform, or a new begin-
ning of another round of financial stability with the pro-
tection of this financial re-regu lation act.
Emerging markets such as the BRIC nations are now
generally imperfect in their financial supervision mecha-
nism or governance system although their economic per-
formances are currently all much better than those of the
developed nations. Emerging markets are now facing
even more challenges of potential financial crisis as they
are realizing financial or economic globalization. There-
fore, emerging markets are suggested to learn some les-
sons from the historical dimension analysis of the Dodd-
Frank Bill.
First, the historical dimension analysis of the Dodd-
Frank Bill indicates that the maintenance of a proper
level of financial deregulation is the key to avoiding or
preventing a new financial crisis. Therefore, th e direction
of financial governance reform in emerging markets
should target at the achievement of an appropriately tight
or loose financial regulation policy.
Second, the timely adjustment or revision of financial
supervision laws or regulations in accordance to a spe-
cific economic circumstance is essential to the stability
of a financial market or economy. Therefore, emerging
markets which are usually not perfect in their institu-
tional construction of financial governance or supervi-
sion should learn to time ly make or revise corresp onding
financial supervision regulations in order to timely solve
some important economic problems which have arisen in
the nation.
Third, the real protection of interests of financial
product consumers is the ultimate goal of all financial
supervision acts, as can be seen from all the American
supervision acts such as FDIC Improvement Act, CSR
Act, and the Dodd-Frank Bill. Therefore, emerging mar-
kets are suggested to reform their financial governance
system with their first priority given to the interest pro-
tection of financial product consumers.
Forth, the enhanced scope of financial supervision on
large financial institutions in a financial market is of
great importance to the prevention of financial crisis.
Therefore, emerging markets should attach great impor-
tance to the construction of a more strict control and su-
pervision system on their big banks or other financial
institutions in their financial market when they conduct
financial governance reforms.
Fifth, the cooperative or integrated role of a three-di-
mension financial supervision system is the key to guar-
antee the high efficiency of financial supervision.
Emerging markets are suggested to handle financial and
economic problems by means of integrating or coordi-
nating the three financial governance systems including
financial supervision laws, monetary policy tools and
Copyright © 2013 SciRes. IB
The Historical Dimension of the US Dodd-Frank Bill and its Implications to
the Financial Governance Reform in Emerging Markets
Copyright © 2013 SciRes. IB
fiscal policy tools.
In addition, the international cooperation of different
countries as an institutional arrangement is necessary to
the successful guarantee of a singe nation’s or the
world’s economic stability a nd development. Th e last but
not the least, the cultivation of ethical value and social
responsibility of financial executives or government
leaders is extremely important for the prevention of any
financial crisis.
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