Rulemaking pursuant to the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act provides a useful setting to assess theories of interest group influence. In the wake of the financial crisis, Congress delegated new rulemaking authority to federal agencies to regulate mortgage markets. A critical aspect of this new regulatory regime engendered significant controversy from affected interests: "credit risk retention" would require sponsors of asset-backed securities to retain a stake in the risk of securitized assets. Contrary to unrefined industry capture-based accounts stressing the disproportionate role of larger, well-established regulated entities in setting policy, we find little evidence of sustained effort by large lenders to dilute regulatory standards via political investments. Rather, a diverse coalition of housing sector, community, and civil rights groups, backed by an ideologically diverse swath of legislators, forced substantial regulatory retrenchment. Our analysis suggests a more nuanced view of private influence, in which coordination plays a more substantial role than political investments alone.
- interest groups
- mortgage market regulation
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Industrial relations
- Political Science and International Relations