Dodd-Frank regulatory flaws stir passion at CPAC

But that’s a point of concern to John Berlau, a financial analyst with the Competitive Enterprise Institute, because this could be taken to mean that Fisher is “advocating an additional layer of regulation on top of Dodd-Frank, rather than replacing it with more rational rules.”

GRAIN OF SALT: John Berlau is skeptical.

GRAIN OF SALT: John Berlau is skeptical.

GRAIN OF SALT: John Berlau is skeptical.

While Fisher talked a good game, and sounded some of the right notes, his recommendations actually undermine free market principles, Berlau said.

After shrewdly invoking the memory of Ronald Reagan as a crowd pleaser, Fisher proceeded to discuss the flaws attached to Dodd-Frank. He outlined a “three-step proposal” that would eliminate the “federal safety net” for non-bank affiliates of bank holding companies, require consumers and creditors to sign off on legally bindings statements that make it clear there is no government guarantee backing up investments, and restructure banks to the point where they are “too small to fail.”

Fisher made it clear that he was speaking for himself, and not anyone else associated with the central bank. He also said he did not represent any political party.

But there is reason to be cynical, Berlau said, because throughout his public life, Fisher consistently has embraced left-of-center policy positions.

“For all the attention CPAC has attracted this year for excluding certain speakers, and narrowing the tent, it’s interesting that Fisher would somehow pass its litmus tests having never clearly renounced his past progressive positions,” Berlau said. “Particularly when he’s advocating the return of intrusive New Deal-era regulations separating banking from insurance on top Obama’s massive Dodd-Frank rules.”