The Dodd-Frank Act Five Years Later: Are We More Stable?

In response to the global financial crisis, in 2010 Congress enacted the Dodd-Frank Financial Reform Act, which was ostensibly designed to “end” the problem of too-big-to-fail banks and otherwise reform and modernize the American financial system. I, and others, have elsewhere considered the impact that Dodd-Frank has had on the financial services industry, banking industry, and consumers. This article focuses on a larger long-term influence of Dodd-Frank and the financial crisis: the impact on the rule of law and freedom. Although Dodd-Frank and the regulations enacted under it could, in theory, be repealed or amended in the future, it will be far more difficult to reverse the impact of Dodd-Frank and the financial crisis on the rule of law, constitutional government and individual freedom and protection from arbitrary government.