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Treasury report expected to recommend stripping CFPB power, other financial reform

Could propose non-legislative action on Dodd-Frank

The U.S. Department of the Treasury is expected to report its findings on financial regulations today, and it's not expected to portray current enforcement agencies in a positive light.

In February, President Donald Trump issued an executive order mandating that the Treasury examine financial regulations to determine if they satisfied a set of seven core principles. Those seven principles are generally related to economic growth, prudential regulation and taxpayer protection.

Trump issued the executive order under the expectations that it would begin to massively roll back regulations. It was the President’s first step toward reducing the role of the Dodd-Frank Act.

The report may not propose an overhaul of Dodd-Frank, but instead could call for some limited modifications, according to Politico. It will include proposals for changing the act, which would require legislation, and proposals to change current regulations. Fox Business is reporting on a Dow Jones report that it will take a specific aim at the largest consumer protection agency:

"The report is around 150 pages and makes recommendations on policy goals, without laying out a specific process for achieving them, these people said. It is harshly critical of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and recommends that the bureau be stripped of its authority to examine financial institutions, people familiar with the matter said." 

In an email to clients this morning, investment bank analyst Brian Gardner, with Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, recommend investors pay more attention to the non-legislative regulatory changes the report is expected to suggest.

“The Dodd-Frank Act leaves broad discretion to the regulators when implementing the law's regulations, and banking regulators appointed by the Trump administration will have the opportunity to change some current rules without seeking congressional approval, which is required to change the statute itself," Gardner said. "We think changing the statute will be difficult in many cases.”

The Housing of Representatives voted to dismantle the Dodd-Frank Act earlier this month. However, ranking member of the Financial Services Committee Maxine Waters, D-N.Y., went on record saying the bill is “dead on arrival in the Senate and has no chance of becoming law.”

This isn’t the only executive order Trump issued to reduce regulations. He issued several orders, such as ordering that for every new regulation created, two more must be cut, and reaffirming his pledge to cut total regulations by 75%.

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