Feb 03

The Resistance: Hold On To Your Wallets, One More Time

The Dodd-Frank financial regulatory bill may not be perfect but it is better than nothing. Donald Trump is now planning to gut it because, as he so bluntly put it, his friends can’t get loans

“We have some of the bankers here. There’s nobody better to tell me about Dodd-Frank than Jamie, so you’re going to tell me about it,” Trump said, referring to Jamie Dimon, the JPMorgan Chase CEO and leader of Trump’s business roundtable.

“We expect to be cutting a lot out of Dodd-Frank, because frankly I have so many people, friends of mine, that have nice businesses and they can’t borrow money,” he continued. “They just can’t get any money because the banks just won’t let them borrow because of the rules and regulations in Dodd-Frank. So we’ll be talking about that in terms of the banking industry.”

Trump to order review of Dodd-Frank financial regulations, suspend retirement advisor rule

At 9 a.m. Pacific time, Trump will sign an executive order directing the Treasury secretary to consult with regulators about what needs to be done to fix the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act and report back within “a relatively short period of time,” the official said. [..]

Trump also will issue a memo to the Labor Department to cease implementation of the retirement advisors rule and undertake a complete review of it. Trump’s Labor secretary nominee, Andy Puzder, has yet to have a confirmation hearing…The new restrictions on retirement advisors were set to start being phased in on April 10. Known as the fiduciary rule, it requires investment brokers who handle retirement funds to put their clients’ interests ahead of other factors, such as their own compensation or company profits. The Labor Department rule was designed to prevent consumers from being steered toward IRAs and other retirement investments with higher fees or lower returns that benefit the advisors recommending or selling them. The Obama administration estimated that those conflicts of interest cost Americans $17 billion a year.

The rest from Charlie Pierce at Esquire Politics:

Good morning, suckers.

I just heard Tom Brokaw, the man who invented World War II, drone on sonorously about how the Democratic minority in the Congress is making a mistake by slowing down the confirmation process because that’s “the Republican playbook” and that they’d be better advised to go out and seek the wisdom of “middle America” (Say “white people,” Tom. Go for the gold.) as regards the issues of the day. This is good advice, provided there’s one angry shut-in anywhere in western Pennsylvania or rural Michigan who hasn’t yet been interviewed by a major newspaper or television correspondent.

But, if they do take Brokaw’s advice, they might point out to these “forgotten people” that there are some people who remember them very well and have not forgotten what marks they are. [..]

in The Wall Street Journal, Gary Cohn, the administration’s senior economic adviser, was more than happy to explain his plan to lift the terrible burden of being honest off the nation’s financial sector. Cohn, as it happens, is one of the phalanx of former Goldman Sachs employees with whom the president* plans to drain the swamp. He seems quite comfortable living there, but what do I know.

“Americans are going to have better choices and Americans are going to have better products because we’re not going to burden the banks with literally hundreds of billions of dollars of regulatory costs every year,” White House National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal. “The banks are going to be able to price product more efficiently and more effectively to consumers.”

But it’s not about his old company, and his old pals, and the fairly thorough job they did blowing up the world economy eight years ago which, of course, is a century in Banker Time. They have labored under the burden of being marginally honest for far too long.

Asked about the potential political pushback because of his Wall Street past, Mr. Cohn said the administration’s goal of deregulating financial markets “has nothing to do with Goldman Sachs.”

“It has nothing to do with J.P. Morgan,” he said. “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.” Mr. Cohn said existing regulations put in place by Dodd-Frank are so sweeping that it is too hard for banks to lend, and consumers’ choice of financial products is too limited.

And I am the Tsar of all the Russias.

This is about consumer choice about the same way a carny midway gives you the choice of being swindled in a shooting gallery, in a fortune-telling booth, or at a stand where you throw plastic hoops onto plastic ducks—where, of course, the hoops do not fit over the plastic ducks because that’s the whole point, suckers.

“We have the best, most highly capitalized banks in the world, and we should use that to our competitive advantage,” he added. “But on the flip side, we also have the most highly regulated, overburdened banks in the world.” Mr. Cohn laid out a road map for how the Trump administration plans to target new financial rules. He said the Treasury Department would lead an effort to overhaul mortgage-finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which were put into government conservatorship after the crisis. He also said that the White House wouldn’t need a change in the law to redirect the mission of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, created by the 2010 law and which governs things like mortgage and credit-card rules. He suggested the White House could influence the mission of the bureau, set up as an independent agency, by putting a new person at its helm to replace Richard Cordray, the agency’s director.

For the past two years, we heard endless thumbsucking from the Brokaws of the world that Donald Trump was a different kind of Republican, that he was running a “populist” campaign, that he would “upend Republican orthodoxy.” Because he couched it in barely veiled racism and xenophobia, enough of the suckers bought it to tip the election in his favor. Now, however, the rubber is meeting the road.

Those nice white “forgotten people” will now be free to have their pensions swindled out from underneath them by sharpies whose bonuses depend on how much money they can steal. They will find themselves paying usurious interest rates on their credit cards because of a clause written in Swedish, in .00009 point type, on the back of their monthly statement. And then, when it all comes crashing down again, they’ll have to look for somebody to blame, and it won’t be them, and it won’t be the charlatan they elevated to the White House. And someone else will run for president, and give them the proper scapegoat, and Tom Brokaw will ask all the wrong questions of all the wrong people again.

It’s morning in America.

Buyers beware, you are about to be scammed again.