What comes through in the Moody’s assessment [the credit-rating downgrade of 15 banks] and in any review of their returns on equity is that banks have lost significant ability to generate earnings to offset the inevitable losses. The lost earnings power is surely due in part to reduced leverage, which helps protects taxpayers.
But 2,300 pages of Dodd-Frank and countless other federal efforts to put sand in the financial gears are also taking their toll. The Obama tax and regulatory frenzy, of which Dodd-Frank is a part, weighs on economic growth. Those are our words, not Moody’s, but the rating agency does note that the abysmal economic environment is a drag on ratings for everyone.