THE Republican nominee for president may be all blather and bombast, but the party’s leadership in the House of Representatives is trying to make up for that by producing lots of weighty policy proposals. The latest, which Jeb Hensarling, chairman of the Financial Services Committee, plans to unveil this week, concerns financial regulation. Mr Hensarling wants to replace the Dodd-Frank act, the sprawling overhaul of America’s financial system instituted in the wake of the crisis of 2007-08, with something much simpler. His bill will not become law as long as Barack Obama wields a presidential veto, but it does add heft to the growing calls for reform.

Mr Hensarling says he is not targeting all of Dodd-Frank, “just 89.7%”. The alphabet soup of financial regulators would be vigorously stirred. For instance, the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau, an agency spawned by Dodd-Frank, would survive but with diminished independence and authority. Its funding would come from Congress rather than the Federal Reserve (and could therefore be cut if it strays); it would not be allowed to prohibit arbitration clauses in financial contracts; and it would no...Continue reading