Finally, a unique proposal called "Skin in the Game" veers from the rest of the bill in that it adds risk to bank balance sheets. The set of rules would require any financial institution packaging a securitized asset to maintain at least 5 percent of the exposure, so that it is not simply offloading troubled assets onto others with no skin in the game. Some seven regulators are working to finalize that rule, which was one of the first proposed—and now last to be completed. In an interview Monday on CNBC, Frank said this facet will be the key to getting banks to stop issuing toxic assets to others.
Thomas Hoenig, vice chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., says Dodd-Frank will work, but needs to be written in a way that doesn't detract from the economy in its haste.
"These are all things that need to be done in a deliberate fashion," Hoenig said in an interview with CNBC. These final regulations "need to be finished up here so that we can have more confidence, I think, in our financial system in general."
It's easy for "deliberate" measures to appear snail-like when as many government agencies are involved. For the remaining three policy baskets mentioned, up to eight regulators will need to get on the same page.
The banks have the most at stake, and they've been clogging the regulators' calendars, too. Since July 2010, the six biggest U.S. financial institutions have met with federal agencies over Dodd-Frank more than 1,000 times, according to research by the Sunlight Foundation. Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan have led the way, with each holding more than 200 meetings with the CFTC, Fed, and Treasury alone.
According to Lee Drutman, a senior fellow at the foundation, the volume of meetings demonstrates how diligently the banks are working to help shape rules that will vastly impact them. He also posits that it's one of the reasons rule making has been sluggish. "As the Dodd-Frank law passes its third anniversary, lagging on deadlines, and increasingly defanged, the meetings log data offer a compelling reason why: the banks have overwhelmed the regulators," Drutman wrote in a recent research report.
Nonetheless, Frank is still optimistic on the law he so vigorously pushed for, and is proud of what it has accomplished. On CNBC's "Closing Bell," he honed in especially on what he says are strides Dodd-Frank has made in tackling the idea of "too big to fail" and creating plans for liquidating banks instead of bailing them out in the case of another financial crisis.
"Look at every bailout that was done ... in 2008 and see if they could be done today," he said. "The fact is our law makes illegal, impossible every one of the bailouts that happened in 2008."
—By CNBC's Kayla Tausche and Amara Omeokwe. Follow Tausche on Twitter: @KaylaTausche. Follow Omeokwe on Twitter: @Amara_Omeokwe.