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The Dodd-Frank Act: A New Deal for a New Age?

North Carolina Banking Institute, Vol. 15, 2011

UNC Legal Studies Research Paper No. 1780360

16 Pages Posted: 8 Mar 2011  

Saule T. Omarova

Cornell University - Law School


The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 is widely regarded as the most comprehensive financial regulation reform in the United States since the Great Depression and, in many ways, the modern equivalent of the New Deal in the financial sector. Although it is difficult to assess the practical impact of the Dodd-Frank Act at this early stage in its implementation, this essay offers some reflections on whether the Act lives up to that historical comparison and whether it presents a qualitatively new approach to resolving regulatory challenges posed by today’s financial markets. The essay examines some of the overarching themes built into the foundation of the Act and identifies a few areas in which the Act continues to rely on the old, pre-crisis regulatory principles and assumptions. It concludes that, despite its expansive reach, the Dodd-Frank Act failed to deliver conceptually innovative solutions that could serve as the basis for the twenty-first-century version of the New Deal.

Keywords: Dodd-Frank Act, financial regulation, financial institutions, regulatory reform

Suggested Citation

Omarova, Saule T., The Dodd-Frank Act: A New Deal for a New Age?. North Carolina Banking Institute, Vol. 15, 2011; UNC Legal Studies Research Paper No. 1780360. Available at SSRN:

Saule Omarova (Contact Author)

Cornell University - Law School ( email )

Myron Taylor Hall
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14853-4901
United States

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