Finance

Warren Blasts Trump For Wall Street Regulation Rollback

| by Robert Fowler

Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts has blasted President Donald Trump over his recent executive orders to ease regulations placed on Wall Street in 2010 and to delay a rule that would require financial advisers to act in their clients' best interests.

On Feb. 3, Trump signed a directive instructing the Treasury Department to conduct a review of every component of the 2010 Dodd-Frank regulations and how they can be changed. The law sought to both place limitations on and better monitor Wall Street following the 2008 financial crisis. The regulations have been largely unpopular within the financial industry, with industry members asserting that the rules make lending more difficult and constrain smaller banks.

"We expect to be cutting a lot out of Dodd-Frank because frankly, I have so many people, friends of mine that had nice businesses, they can't borrow money," Trump said during a meeting with business leaders, The New York Times reports.

The business leaders, which included CEO Stephen Schwarzman of the private equity company The Blackstone Group and Jamie Dimon, president of JPMorgan Chase & Co., comprise a panel of economic advisers to the White House.

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The review will be headed by the treasury secretary. Trump's nominee for that position, Steven Mnuchin, is a former Goldman Sachs hedge fund manager. If changes to Dodd-Frank are recommended, many of them would require congressional approval.

The president had also signed a second executive order that delays implementation of the fiduciary rule, an Obama administration directive that would legally require financial advisers to act solely in the best interests of their clients.  

Following the executive orders, Warren issued a statement accusing Trump of reneging on a key campaign pledge to be tough on Wall Street.

"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," Warren said, according to CNBC.

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"Today, after literally standing alongside big bank and hedge fund CEOs, he announced two 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."

Throughout the presidential race, Trump had blasted Clinton for her ties to Wall Street, asserting that the Democratic nominee would enact policies heavily favorable to the financial industry.

"Hillary will never reform Wall Street," Trump tweeted out in July 2016. "She is owned by Wall Street!"

An anonymous Trump administration official asserted that the executive orders did not mean that Trump would strip away Wall Street regulations set in place following the 2008 crash.

"This is not an attempt to undo Dodd-Frank," the official told NPR.

Lisa Donner, executive director of Wall Street watchdog group Americans for Financial Reform, is not convinced.

"The administration apparently plans to turn over financial regulation to Wall Street ... That betrays the promises Trump made to stand up to Wall Street, and it will have dire consequences if he's successful," Donner said.

Sources: CNBC, Donald J. Trump/TwitterThe New York Times, NPR / Photo Credit: Senate Democrats/Flickr

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