Delays in implementing new financial regulation laws may result in another taxpayer bailout of banks, said Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew earlier this week.
The financial overhaul law, Dodd-Frank, passed in 2010, but it's still not fully implemented.
As with many laws, the detailed rules are left up to federal agencies to write. There are an estimated 400 rules that have to be written and to date fewer than 40 percent are finalized and in place.
If rules putting the 2010 law into effect aren't sufficient by year's end to eliminate the possibility of taxpayer bailouts, Lew says, "We're going to have to look at other options." Lew didn't specify what the options might be.
He said the Obama administration has the same goals as the senators who recently proposed legislation that would force banks to split off their conventional lending and deposit-taking into separate companies from investment banking and other riskier activities.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
LEARN MORE ABOUT BANKING REGULATION:
• An Unhappy Birthday For Dodd-Frank: The 'Too Big To Fail' Problem Gets Bigger
"There were lots of heated debates before passage of Dodd-Frank, but no disagreement from anyone in the administration or Congress about one thing. The bill had to end the possibility that American taxpayers would ever again have to bail out a big bank because its failure would have a severe impact on the entire economy." (Forbes)
• Heartening Moves Toward Real Progress in Bank Regulation
"The postcrisis bad behavior — reckless trading at a JPMorgan Chase unit in London, the rampant mortgage modification and foreclosure abuses, manipulation of the key global interest rate benchmark — went just a tad too far. For the first time since the financial crisis, the banks are losing some battles on tougher regulation." (Dealbook)