In competitive sports, being first is always the goal. But the distance between the U.S. — at the head of the pack — and the rest of the world in crafting financial reforms is becoming a major hurdle for implementing the Dodd-Frank Act.

That was the focal point of a Senate hearing Thursday where lawmakers grilled financial policymakers on progress instituting rules — on everything from the Volcker Rule to derivatives to a resolution facility — that could conflict with foreign regimes lacking similar reforms. "We were told here that the rest of the world would follow our lead and adopt legislation similar to Dodd Frank," said Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., ranking member of the Senate Banking Committee. "Of course, this has not happened."

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