Dodd-Frank Reform: 'Crapo Bill' and Beyond

Last week, I had the chance to sit down with the Director of the Program on Financial Regulation at the Mercatus Center Brian Knight, Antonin Scalia Law School Associate Professor J.W. Verret, and American Banker reporter Rachel Witkowski to talk about Dodd-Frank reform in the context of the so-called “Crapo bill” and beyond. 

All three agreed that "modest" was an appropriate way to describe the 'Crapo bill,’ and that because this may be the last meaningful Dodd-Frank reform effort from Congress for some time, the foreseeable future of financial regulatory policy lies with the regulatory agencies and states.


  • Verret previewed forthcoming research by proposing “regulatory contracts” as a way to reduce regulatory uncertainty at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) while talking about the states’ role in financial technology (fintech) regulation.
  • Witkowski highlighted her reporting on Mick Mulvaney (Acting Director at the CFPB) and his call for state attorneys general to take a bigger role in enforcement actions. She then pointed to housing finance as the next big issue in financial regulation that policymakers should focus on.
  • Knight noted that financial regulators should carefully consider the risks associated with regulating via broad discretionary powers rather than via traditional rulemaking, and discussed a federal charter and state regulatory sandboxes as potential policy reform options for emerging fintech firms.

The conversation also covered the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), the CFPB’s ‘Project Catalyst,’ and the Volcker Rule.