Volume 87, Number 5

November 2012

Beyond the Crisis: Dodd-Frank and Private Equity

Joseph A. Tillman

The history of the U.S. financial markets is peppered with economic crises. A few scholars have argued that in the wake of these events, the combination of widespread media attention and a flurry of congressional action has led to the hurried creation of sweeping remedial legislation. Indeed, these scholars maintain that in seeking to put out the flames of panic and financial instability, such regulations have often been mismatched to the problems they intended to address. My Note enters the fore and argues that the Volcker Rule and the amendments to the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, promulgated in response to the Financial Crisis of 2008 as part of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, are examples of financial market regulation that go beyond the concerns that led to their enactment. Specifically, this Note explores these regulations as they apply to private equity (PE) funds and contends that they each bring the PE industry within the purview of regulatory scrutiny in a way that may have negative implications for our economic recovery. While the need to be forward-looking remains present in any legislative scheme, this Note takes the position that we are currently facing uncertain economic times that require a response more closely tied to the conduct that led to the Crisis.