As one might expect, the reactions to President Donald Trump’s initiation of the overhaul of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act came in fast and furious after Trump signed an executive order on Friday that calls for the Secretary of the Department of the Treasury to begin reviewing Dodd-Frank.
And unsurprisingly, those reactions varied wildly, with left-leaning people and organizations calling the move an outrage and other assorted adjectives, and those that lean right having the polar opposite reaction.
As HousingWire previously reported, one big supporter of the move is House Financial Services Committee Chairman Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, who stood next the president as he signed the order.
“Dodd-Frank failed to keep its promises, but President Trump is following through on his promise to the American people to dismantle Dodd-Frank,” Hensarling said.
“That’s not what Wall Street wants, but it is what hardworking Americans need to have a healthy economy with more opportunities so they can achieve financial independence,” Hensarling added. “Republicans are eager to work with the President to end and replace the Dodd-Frank mistake with legislation that holds Wall Street and Washington accountable, ends taxpayer-funded bailouts forever, and unleashes America’s economic potential.”
On the other end of the political spectrum is Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachusetts, who went scorched earth in declaring her opposition to Trump’s move.
“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 in a statement.
“Today, after literally standing alongside big bank and hedge fund CEOs, he announced two new 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,” Warren continued. “The Wall Street bankers and lobbyists whose greed and recklessness nearly destroyed this country may be toasting each other with champagne, but the American people have not forgotten the 2008 financial crisis - and they will not forget what happened today.”
Tim Pawlenty, the former Republican Party presidential candidate and current CEO of the Financial Services Roundtable, said that the president’s executive order is a good first step.
“Modernizing America's financial regulatory system in ways that will grow the economy, create jobs and protect consumers as well as taxpayers is a key ingredient to boosting financial opportunities for America's families and businesses,” Pawlenty said.
And back on the left, Stephanie Taylor, co-founder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, said that Trump’s move shows his true colors.
“Just so it’s clear, Trump is siding with Wall Street bankers once again. After holding a closed-door meeting with Wall Street CEOs to seek their blessing, Trump is rolling back Dodd-Frank’s consumer protections and a requirement for financial advisors to act in their clients’ best interests -- not their own,” Taylor said. “Trump just made it easier for Wall Street to steal billions from working families - and creates the conditions for another massive financial meltdown in the future.”
Dan Berger, the president and CEO of the National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions, welcomed the move, which could lighten the regulatory burden that credit unions face.
“We welcome regulators taking a hard look at the Dodd-Frank Act for ways to lift current burdens, but we will also continue to press the CFPB to use the authority it has now to exempt credit unions from regulations that were created to address abuses in which credit unions did not engage,” Berger said. “Ultimately, we look forward to the administration, Congress and the regulators working together to reduce regulatory burden. We will continue to advocate for credit unions’ best interests as this review moves forward.”
On the other hand, John Taylor, the president and CEO of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition, said that the move shows the “worst tendencies” of the Trump administration.
“The executive orders to unravel Dodd-Frank and rescind the fiduciary duty rule are an affront to families and communities across the country,” Taylor said.
“The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act was enacted in 2010 to put in place sensible safeguards and protections for average, hardworking Americans and our economy and to prevent abuses by banks,” Taylor continued.
“It was made law for a very good reason: to eliminate the predatory practices and risky behavior from Wall Street that led to an economic crisis that harmed the whole country and caused millions to lose their homes,” Taylor added.
“President Trump's actions today will ultimately be toxic for working families. He should reverse the orders. Rather than slashing consumer protections, the administration should be focused on ways to create jobs by requiring financial institutions to invest safely and soundly, to revitalize communities, to improve affordable homeownership opportunities for working people, and to ensure that the nation’s start-ups and small businesses have access to capital,” Taylor concluded. “Rather than just meeting with banking executives, as he did this morning, he should be holding them accountable and working to help working families that are struggling to climb the economic ladder.”
Meanwhile, FreedomWorks CEO Adam Brandon said that he is “encouraged” by Trump’s executive order.
“While the purported intent of supporters was to prevent another economic crisis, Dodd-Frank has centralized banking power into fewer big banks, crushing small town banks across the country. It has also made ‘too big to fail’ the law, rather than eliminating risks to taxpayers,” Brandon said.
“I am encouraged that President Trump realizes that unintended consequences are just as important as other consequences. If a law designed to reduce the influence of big banks makes them more influential and decreases access to credit for small business owners and entrepreneurs, it deserves to be axed,” Brandon continued.
“President Trump should make his case to the American people and congress, encourage them to pass repeal legislation, and sign it into law,” Brandon concluded. “I will be thrilled with any constitutional executive orders that begin to chop away at this harmful law. Congress, however, must move on legislation to eliminate the harmful effects of Dodd-Frank.”
Karl Frisch, the executive director of Allied Progress, said that Friday’s moves shouldn’t come as a surprise, considering who makes up the Trump administration.
“If anyone thought Trump filling his administration with Goldman Sachs executives wouldn’t result in financial policy that stacks the deck against hardworking Americans, this should finally dispel that notion,” Frisch said.
“America’s Swamp-Drainer-In-Chief has made it clear that his top priority is returning power to the big banks and financial institutions that helped wreck our economy and cost millions of Americans their homes and retirement savings,” Frisch added.
“Because of the financial crisis they caused, millions still worry about the safety of their retirement savings. They shouldn’t have to worry about the priorities of their president too,” Frisch concluded. “It’s no surprise that former Goldman Sachs president Gary Cohn is running point for Trump on these initiatives.”