Presidential Pendulums in Finance
43 Pages Posted: 28 Sep 2020
Date Written: July 24, 2020
This Article explores the role of the executive branch, when driven by the President, in deregulating the financial system. While administrative law formally requires that financial regulation derive from notice-and-comment rulemaking, Presidents of the past two administrations have made novel use of an array of executive branch tools to effectively regulate and deregulate the financial services industry. This Article claims that such a shift away from formal administrative law rule-making processes toward presidentially driven deregulation has implications for the overall stability of the financial system. Specifically, this Article suggests that a President’s ability to unilaterally and informally deregulate (and, by extension, regulate) the financial sector can make regulatory cycles more frequent. In turn, the financial cycle may become shorter, steeper, and more severe. If Presidents push and pull on the financial sector, the pendulum of economic activity can swing sharper and faster than it has before—with accompanying re-percussions for businesses and households in the real economy.
Keywords: Financial regulation, Political-economy, Law and Macroeconomics
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