The Washington Post

Overwhelmed regulators give financial industry a reprieve

Regulators are having such a difficult time translating into action the Wall Street overhaul Congress ordered last year that they are cutting the investment industry-- and themselves-- some slack.

New requirements governing certain financial instruments are scheduled to take effect on July 16, almost a year after enactment of the Dodd-Frank Act. But the Securities and Exchange Commission said Friday that it is providing “temporary relief” from some of the provisions.

With the deadline looming, the SEC said it will extend some temporary rules and offer relief from others that predated Dodd-Frank.

At issue are “security-based swaps,” a form of derivative.

The sweeping Dodd-Frank legislation was part of the government’s response to the financial crisis of 2008, which nearly plunged the nation into an economic depression. But Congress left many of the difficult decisions to regulators, who must translate the law’s broad mandates into detailed rules.

Regulators such as the SEC have been straining under the scale and complexity of the task.

Where the SEC is required to issue rules, it has proposed or adopted measures involving about two-thirds of them, the SEC said.

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