Mike Konczal: 2013 Financial Reform Went Way Better Than Anyone Expected:
2013 was a not-awful year for financial reform. If you aren’t terrified of jinxing even the smallest good news, you might even say it was pretty good. The multi-year implementation of 2010’s Dodd-Frank bill made several final advancements this year, and compared to where people thought we’d be a year ago, we are in a pretty solid place. Last year, nobody thought that banks would face tougher holding requirements for capital, that regulations of the financial derivatives markets would advance, or that the final Volcker would be a pretty good start instead of an incoherent mess. Yet that is what appears to have happened in 2013. So what caused it? And how it might apply to future political goals?... The multi-billion dollar trading losses from JPMorgan Chase known as the “London Whale” changed the dynamics.... JPMorgan had been leading the charge against reform, arguing that the effort was over-harsh and destructive, and that Wall Street had already cleaned up its act on its own.... An intellectual movement that argued high capital requirements would both be an excellent way to stabilize the financial system at a minimal cost to society.... The last reason reform worked in 2013 was the result of insider and outsider actors committed to pushing reform on the agenda. Senator Warren.... The CFTC’s Bart Chilton.... Meanwhile, outside groups kept up the pressure through the democratic rule-writing process.