Last week, in a story that probably didn't get as much attention as it deserves, Donald Trump issued a new directive
to make it easier for your financial advisor to deliberately rip you off. At the same time, the Republican president, who made anti-Wall Street rhetoric a key part of his campaign message, began laying the groundwork
to undo elements of the Dodd-Frank reform law.
Don't worry, though, because Trump has a perfectly clear rationale for his actions: "I have so many people, friends of mine, that have nice businesses and they can't borrow money. 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."
In other words, the president is targeting legal safeguards and layers of financial-industry accountability so that his friends can get more money. The comments were certainly candid.
But they were also baffling. To the extent that reality matters, commercial lending is actually at record highs
right now -- even with Dodd-Frank safeguards in place -- so it's not altogether clear what the president is whining about.
At the same White House event, Trump turned to JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon and said, "There's nobody better to tell me about Dodd-Frank than Jamie." If you voted for Trump because you thought he'd stand up to Wall Street, I'm afraid you were suckered.
But perhaps most alarming of all is the potential impact of this administration's vision as it relates to the finance industry. Vox's Matt Yglesias had a good piece
on this yesterday, noting that Trump seems determined to encourage Wall Street to engage in more risky lending. read more