February 10, 2015 at 8:50 am ET
Financial System is No Less Vulnerable to Another Crisis, Voters Say
A plurality of voters says the U.S. financial system is no less vulnerable to another crisis than it was five years ago, according to a Morning Consult poll.
Despite new federal rules put in place by the Dodd-Frank financial regulation law, 42 percent of registered voters said conditions have not improved. Twenty-seven percent of respondents consider the world of finance safer today, and 30 percent don’t know or have no opinion.
Since President Barack Obama signed the Dodd-Frank legislation into law in 2010, federal agencies have finalized almost 60 percent of required rulemakings, according to the latest monthly progress report from Davis Polk, a New York-based law firm.
But the law’s regulations, undertaken across several federal agencies, can be complex, especially in the eyes of the average voter. Throughout the poll, anywhere from 20 percent to 30 percent of respondents consistently said they have no opinion on or do not know enough about financial regulation efforts to take a position.
Tony Fratto, a partner at Hamilton Place Strategies, a Washington-based consulting firm with clients in the financial services industry, said it’s not surprising that a large portion of the public has no opinion on these types of regulations.
“It’s a big, complex bill, most of which deals with matters that don’t touch people on an everyday basis,” said Fratto, who worked in the White House and Treasury Department under former President George W. Bush.
The poll also asked respondents to select from a range of opinions on the state of financial regulation overall. The two most common responses – regulations have struck the right balance or regulations have not gone far enough – each accounted for 29 percent of the responses. Twenty-two percent of voters said the rules have gone too far.
Within each political affiliation, about 30 percent of respondents said regulatory efforts have reached a satisfactory level.
Fratto said those figures suggest a significant portion of voters across the political spectrum is satisfied with the status quo. “That’s pretty telling, an impressive result actually,” he said.
Likewise, a near-identical portion of voters in each group had no opinion on U.S. financial sector regulations.
The poll was conducted online from Jan. 30 through Feb. 1 among a national sample of 1,684 registered voters. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.4 percentage points.