Book Review: Essentials of the Dodd-Frank Act

Before I start this evening, I just want to say that as a day progresses, if I find a good topic, I prepare for it. If I don’t, I plan on doing a book review. As it is, I have 15 books that I have read and not reviewed. The majority of them are poor. It is tough to do a bad book review, but I guess I will do a bunch of them.


My review of this book was shaped by its coverage of my own industry.  I am an investment advisor, and a small one.  I learned far more from other sources regarding what I needed to do to comply with Dodd-Frank than this book did.  If I had had only this book to help guide me in my regulatory work, I would have been sunk.

Now, as I read through the book it struck me as being a perfunctory summary of the law, without a lot of insight.

The structure of the book is this:

  • Introduce the Act
  • Explain the history and main goals
  • Go through the Titles (main divisions) of the Act, and give brief explanations of the main points.
  • Explain how various institutions are affected at a high level.
  • Then talk about how the various studies that the Act demands will be done, and how regulatory rules will be created.
  • How it affects all existing agencies, and the new agencies that are created by the Act.
  • What impact it has globally (not much)
  • How it affects various financial professions
  • How it interacts with SOX and Basel (not much)

I found the book to be weak, given what I know about my industry, and other financial industries.  It read like someone went through the Act and excerpted it.


I have no quibbles, I only have objections.  This book was put out too fast, and with too little thought.

Who would benefit from this book:

Better you should read the act; it is bad, but not that bad, as Washington goes.  The act is long, so if you are looking for an easy introduction to the act this book could be helpful, but you could probably clip the highlights of the act yourself.  It is only a question of the value of your time.

If you want to, you can buy it here: Essentials of the Dodd-Frank Act (Essentials Series).

Full disclosure: They asked me if I would like to get this book, and I said yes.  What a disappointment.

If you enter Amazon through my site, and you buy anything, I get a small commission.  This is my main source of blog revenue.  I prefer this to a “tip jar” because I want you to get something you want, rather than merely giving me a tip.  Book reviews take time, particularly with the reading, which most book reviewers don’t do in full, and I typically do. (When I don’t, I mention that I scanned the book.  Also, I never use the data that the PR flacks send out.)

Most people buying at Amazon do not enter via a referring website.  Thus Amazon builds an extra 1-3% into the prices to all buyers to compensate for the commissions given to the minority that come through referring sites.  Whether you buy at Amazon directly or enter via my site, your prices don’t change.