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TheStreet Open House

M&T's CEO Says Dodd-Frank Won't Prevent Another Financial Crisis

Stocks in this article: MTB

WASHINGTON, Sept. 22, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- In a keynote address at the American Banker Regulatory Symposium this week, M&T Bank Chairman and CEO Robert G. Wilmers said that the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act failed to address key causes of the recent financial crisis.

"One devoutly wishes to be able to say that this new law has done that which it was passed to do: prevent the recurrence of a financial crisis like the one we have experienced.  I fear very much, however, that it will likely fall short," said Wilmers.  

Read Wilmers' entire speech on M&T Bank's website at http://mtb.mediaroom.com/american_banker_symposium

"I am concerned that the actual law has neither resolved nor seriously addressed a number of significant problems implicated in the financial crisis," Wilmers explained.  "In particular, I think of those posed by three major types of institutions and their activities: first, credit rating agencies, key enablers of the transactions which sparked the crisis; second, the government-sponsored enterprises, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, whose indeterminate status continues to impede recovery in the housing market; and third, large bank holding companies which continue to avail themselves of the ill-advised protection offered by government taxpayers for risky activities not traditionally associated with banking."  

Said Wilmers, "all were key contributors to the financial crisis from which the American economy has yet to recover; all were too big to overlook."

Credit ratings agencies, rather than sounding a timely alarm, were part of the problem

Wilmers said that, "in the years leading up to the recent financial crisis, rating agency assessments were poor to the point of inaccuracy -- creating a false sense of confidence on the part of investors and regulators alike and in turn, contributing to the crisis."

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