A group of approximately 100 public company CEOs, all of whom are members of the Business Roundtable, has asked President Obama to abandon several measures of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act -- with the so-called “Volcker Rule” at the top of the list. (Broadly speaking, this rule would prevent certain banking entities from engaging in proprietary trading.) The group is alarmed at what it deems the “exorbitant costs” of compliance with Dodd-Frank, and wraps these concerns in a simple and appealing patriotic message: “Let’s put the United States back on the path to strong economic growth.” Andrew N. Liveris, chairman and CEO of the Dow Chemical Co., declares, “while America's political system remains frozen in gridlock, the rest of the world is not standing still. Other nations around the world that compete with the United States for jobs, business investment and export markets are moving forward -- and we must too."
This simple message may be too obvious for its own good, however. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, in a recent Wall Street Journal opinion column available here takes business leaders and lawmakers to task for what he styles “financial crisis amnesia.” “Are the costs of reform too high?” he asks. “Certainly not relative to the costs of another financial crisis.”
Meanwhile, regulators have admitted that they will miss their July 21 deadline for finalizing the Volcker Rule, after having received some 17,000 comments during the open comment period.