As previewed earlier today, moments ago President Trump signed two executive orders aimed at starting the process of rolling back the regulatory system put in place after the financial crisis.
Among the targets are rules that protect against predatory lenders, force brokers to lower fees for retirees and ban proprietary trading. Specifically, Trump took executive action ordering the review of Dodd-Frank rules enacted after 2008 financial crisis, and halting the “fiduciary rule” that would require advisers on retirement accounts to work in the best interests of their clients.
— FOX Business (@FoxBusiness) February 3, 2017
Wall Street CEOs such as Lloyd Blankfein and Jamie Dimon, tired of being constrained from blowing up the financial world with undue government regulations and relying almost entirely on NIM which stubbornly refuses to rise, have been pushing for changes for years, arguing that the industry has been too constrained by the system put in place by the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act. After Trump focused on limiting trade and immigration during his first two weeks in office, policies opposed by many in the financial industry, the president’s stroke of a pen unleashes a process to undo many of the rules they find most “irksome” as Bloomberg put it.
“We’re going to attack all aspects of Dodd-Frank,” Gary Cohn, former Goldman president and director of the White House National Economic Council, said Friday in an interview with Bloomberg Television. “We are going to engage the House, we’re going to engage the Senate. They are equally interested in reforming some of the regulatory processes as well. We can do quite a bit without them, but the more help we get from Congress the better off we’re all going to be.”
Meanwhile, Elizabeth Warren – rightfully according to some – lashed out at Trump for rushing to undo the key Wall Street regulations, and issued a statement in which she said “The Wall Street bankers and lobbyists whose greed and recklessness nearly destroyed this country may be toasting each other with champagne, but the American people have not forgotten the 2008 financial crisis.”
“Donald Trump talked a big game about Wall Street during his campaign – but as President, we’re finding out whose side he’s really on. Today, after literally standing alongside big bank and hedge fund CEOs, he announced two new orders – one that will make it easier for investment advisors to cheat you out of your retirement savings, and another that will put two former Goldman Sachs executives in charge of gutting the rules that protect you from financial fraud and another economic meltdown. The Wall Street bankers and lobbyists whose greed and recklessness nearly destroyed this country may be toasting each other with champagne, but the American people have not forgotten the 2008 financial crisis – and they will not forget what happened today.”
While it will take a while to fully roll back the financial regulations, we are confident that Wall Street is already preparing for the next big push into prop trading, major re-leveraging, blowing a whole new set of asset bubbles, and all those other things which brought the system to a near collapse less than 10 years ago.
Finally, while Trump was quick to begin the process of undoing Dodd Frank – no doubt with the helpful advice of numerous former Goldman bankers standing behind his shoulder – he has yet to make any comments on bringing back Glass Steagall, the one law that would truly protect depositors from runaway banker greed, and mandate yet another taxpayer funded bailout the next time the US banking sector is in need of a bailout.