MNUCHIN TELLS WALL STREET: 'You should all thank me for your bank stocks doing better'

LOS ANGELES — Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told an audience of Wall Street managers that they could thank him for financial deregulation.

“You should all thank me for your bank stocks doing better,” Mnuchin said at the Milken Institute Global Conference held at the Beverly Hilton, drawing laughs.

Bank stocks took off in the aftermath of the election of Donald Trump as president. In February, the president ordered a review of Dodd-Frank, the 2010 financial regulatory law, and directed the secretary of labour to review the fiduciary rule, a regulation that had been set to go into effect in April.

The president has derided Dodd-Frank as “a disaster” and promised to “do a big number” on the law.

Mnuchin, a former Goldman Sachs banker, said that the Trump administration would focus on clarifying regulation for big banks. He said bankers saw current regulation as a “black box.”

Mnuchin added that deregulation would come after the administration implements its proposed tax plan.

The annual Milken conference attracts execs from across industries, including many Wall Streeters.

Here’s what else Mnuchin said during his interview:

  • On keeping the mortgage and charitable tax deductions: “Those are two areas that are important to a lot of things that Americans believe in.”
  • Tax plan: Mnuchin said he thought economic growth and reducing tax deductions overall would help make up the government’s deficit.
  • On the Trump administration’s failure to repeal Obamacare: “The expectation that it was going to be done in 18 days was perhaps a bit aggressive but it looks like we’re very close to getting changes to healthcare done and we’re going to move forward with taxes.”
  • On tax cuts as a version of a jobs bill: “More than 70% of the tax burden on business is passed on to the workers. This is really our version of a jobs bill, so I hope we get bipartisan support.”

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