President Donald Trump is set to sign two executive orders on Friday that would roll back two major Wall Street regulations, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Trump will target the Dodd-Frank Act, which was written in the aftermath of the financial crisis to scale back risk taking at the country’s largest financial institutions, as well as the fiduciary rule, which requires investment advisers to put client interests above their own when it comes to investment choices for retirement accounts, according to the Journal’s Michael Bender and Damian Paletta.
The executive orders will not immediately repeal the two regulations, Gary Cohn — White House National Economic Council Director and former Goldman Sachs COO — told the Journal. Instead, Trump orders will direct the Labour secretary to rescind the fiduciary standard and the Treasury secretary to devise a plan to replace Dodd-Frank.
Cohn also told the Journal that the orders will not be the end of the deregulation effort by Trump, saying the moves are a “table setter” for further action.
Trump has expressed a desire to deregulate the financial sector, a promise that has made bank stocks one of the best performing sectors since the election. Trump, however, has been somewhat inconsistent as well.
The president has mentioned reinstating the Glass-Steagall Act which separated commercial and investment banks until the late 1990s. Trump’s Treasury secretary pick, Steven Mnuchin, reiterated that he is in favour of a “21st Century Glass-Steagall” in testimony to Congress.
Additionally, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said in a press conference this week that Trump’s views on such an act are “consistent,” but did not elaborate beyond that.
Cohn told the Journal that the Glass-Steagall was not designed to be beneficial for major banks, but keep the US competitive.
“It has nothing to do with JP Morgan,” Cohn told the Journal. “It has nothing to do with Citigroup. It has nothing to do with Bank of America. It has to do with being a player in a global market where we should, could and will have a dominant position as long as we don’t regulate ourselves out of that.”
The news will still come as a welcome sign for the biggest banks who have had to increase the capital on their balance sheet and lessen their risk-taking following the passage of the law.
Cohn also told the Journal that the executive order will direct the Treasury department to change Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government-backed mortgage lenders. Additionally, Cohn said that the executive action would not impact the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which was created as a part of Dodd-Frank.
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