Section 342 of the Dodd-Frank Bill Will Impose Gender and Racial Quotas on the Financial Industry; Even Though the House Committee is 82% Male, and the Senate Committe is 96% Male, 100% White
Here's something that has great potential to ruin your day, from Diana Furchtgott-Roth:
"Section 342 of the Dodd-Frank financial regulation bill declares that race and gender employment ratios, if not quotas, must be observed by private financial institutions that do business with the government. In a major power grab, the new law inserts race and gender quotas into America's financial industry.
In addition to this bill's well-publicized plans to establish over a dozen new financial regulatory offices, Section 342 sets up at least 20 Offices of Minority and Women Inclusion. This has had no coverage by the news media and has large implications.
The Treasury, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, the 12 Federal Reserve regional banks, the Board of Governors of the Fed, the National Credit Union Administration, the Comptroller of the Currency, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau...all would get their own Office of Minority and Women Inclusion.
Each office would have its own director and staff to develop policies promoting equal employment opportunities and racial, ethnic, and gender diversity of not just the agency's workforce, but also the workforces of its contractors and sub-contractors.
What would be the mission of this new corps of Federal monitors? The Dodd-Frank bill sets it forth succinctly and simply - all too simply. The mission, it says, is to assure "to the maximum extent possible the fair inclusion" of women and minorities, individually and through businesses they own, in the activities of the agencies, including contracting.
Lest there be any narrow interpretation of Congress's intent, either by agencies or eventually by the courts, the bill specifies that the "fair" employment test shall apply to "financial institutions, investment banking firms, mortgage banking firms, asset management firms, brokers, dealers, financial services entities, underwriters, accountants, investment consultants and providers of legal services." That last would appear to rope in law firms working for financial entities.
This latest attempt by Congress to dictate what "fair" employment means is likely to encourage administrators and managers, in government and in the private sector, to hire women and minorities for the sake of appearances, even if some new hires are less qualified than other applicants. The result is likely to be redundant hiring and a wasteful expansion of payroll overhead.
With the new financial regulation law, the federal government is moving from outlawing discrimination to setting up a system of quotas. Ultimately, the only way that financial firms doing business with the government would be able to comply with the law is by showing that a certain percentage of their workforce is female or minority.
The new Offices of Women and Minorities represent a major change in employment law by imposing gender and racial quotas on the financial industry. The issue deserves careful debate - rather than a few pages slipped into the financial regulation bill."
MP: As Thomas Sowell reminds us: If there is ever a contest to pick which word has done the most damage to people's thinking, and to actions to carry out that thinking, my nomination would be the word "fair."
Update: Gender composition of The House Committee on Financial Services, chaired by Barney Frank:
Female: 18.3% (only 13 female members out of 71)
Gender composition of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs:
Male: 96% (all white)
Female: 4% (only one white female member out of 23)