Wall Street Reform Will Bring Huge Technology Changes - InformationWeek

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3/25/2011
02:50 PM
Greg MacSweeney
Greg MacSweeney
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Wall Street Reform Will Bring Huge Technology Changes

IT organizations will need to adapt quickly to the Dodd-Frank law’s myriad requirements. Download our Cheat Sheet for a (relatively) quick summary.

Every once in a while, something comes along that's so big that it changes business forever. It drives new technologies and innovation and, most important, opportunities.

When Ma Bell was deregulated in 1984, a new industry of communications equipment and software makers was born, and a host of new services (call waiting and voicemail, for example) took hold. Would those innovations have occurred - as quickly and at the same relatively low price points - if the telecom monopoly had been left intact? No way.

Just as deregulation can spur innovation, so, too, can new regulations. And the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, which was passed last year, is the biggest piece of financial regulation since the Great Depression.

The regulations promise to create new trading venues and liquidity sources, reduce trading costs for investors, and stimulate higher trading volumes and profits across the industry. In fact, Dodd-Frank touches on virtually every part of the financial services business, from credit cards, mortgages, and bank fees to derivatives trading and hedge fund registration.

For starters, banks, investment firms, insurance companies--and the firms that serve them--are likely to need all kinds of data analytics, risk management, and knowledge management software to meet the reporting and compliance demands imposed by Dodd Frank.

While Dodd-Frank has been in the headlines for many months, however, few people know what it requires. After all, the legislation weighs in at 848 pages--add in all of the references to previous rules and legislation, and Dodd-Frank easily approaches 2,000 pages. Not exactly a document you want to curl up with in bed.

Fortunately, the InformationWeek Financial Services editors not only have read the entire document, but we've also boiled it down to a relatively brief summary. Coming in at just under 40 pages, our Dodd-Frank Cheat Sheet provides layman's definitions of the rules, outlines the law's impact on technology organizations, and highlights key deadlines. For many, the Cheat Sheet isn't a substitute for reading the entire legislation, but it will help technologists get their minds around this historic law.

Download your free copy of the Dodd-Frank Cheat Sheet here.

Greg MacSweeney is editorial director of InformationWeek Financial Services, whose brands include Wall Street & Technology, Bank Systems & Technology, Advanced Trading, and Insurance & Technology. Write to Greg at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @gmacsweeney.

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