Friday, February 03, 2017

Oh, that’s what it means to “drain the swamp”!

First, from Slate:
“In a press release from Oct. 17, Trump pledged to ‘drain the swamp in Washington, D.C.’ He then tweeted: ‘I will Make Our Government Honest Again — believe me. But first, I’m going to have to #DrainTheSwamp.’ [….]
At its bottom, drain the swamp is a metaphor: If you drain the swamp, you eliminate the mosquitoes (or snakes and alligators, in other iterations) that breed disease. But, ironically, the original disease the expression referred to was the very thing Trump has built his campaign on: big business.”
And now, from Reuters (February 3, 2017):
By Ayesha Rascoe and Sarah N. Lynch
“U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday will fire the opening salvo in his campaign to scale back major regulations that resulted from the financial crisis, directing a review of the Dodd-Frank Act and putting the brakes on a retirement advice rule.
The executive order Trump will sign on the 2010 Dodd-Frank law on Wall Street reform will be a first step towards rolling back the regulations that Trump sees as hurting the economy, but without rewriting the legislation, which can be done only through Congress. One prominent measure is the ‘Volcker rule’ that greatly restricts how banks can make bets with their own money. Expectations of simpler bank regulations helped push up stocks on Wall Street in early trading.
‘The first thing that we are going to attack is regulation, over-regulation. It’s not just in the financial markets, it’s in all markets,’ said White House National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn on Fox Business Network. ‘So today you're going to start seeing the beginning of some of our executive actions to roll back regulation in the financial services market.’
The landmark 2010 Dodd-Frank law was the biggest Wall Street regulatory overhaul in decades. It set out a long list of rules intended to keep the financial system from experiencing a repeat of the 2007-09 crisis, including strict new capital standards on banks and tighter oversight of derivatives. The act also created a new consumer protection watchdog to guard against predatory lending and called for identifying banks and other institutions considered ‘too big to fail’ that are subjected to annual stress testing. [emphasis added]
[….] On Friday, the Republican-led Congress killed a Dodd-Frank regulation regarding payments that big energy companies make to foreign governments. Also, the House Financial Services Committee is working on a complete Dodd-Frank revamp.
Trump’s moves come also amid mounting pressure from Congressional Republicans who want Trump to fire Richard Cordray, the director of the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. A federal court this autumn ruled the president should be able to fire the director at will, but the decision was stayed pending appeal.
Republican Congressman Sean Duffy said earlier this week that House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling is expected to advance his CHOICE Act legislation to weaken Dodd-Frank later this month.” [….] The rest of the piece is here.

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