Boots & Sabers

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0838, 03 Feb 17

Trump Moves on Regulatory Reform


In his first order, Trump will issue a broad directive meant to garner input from the heads of federal regulatory agencies on areas for reform. The move won’t make any immediate changes to the agencies or their policies; rather, it will solicit recommendations for changes to the Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform law that was enacted in 2010.
“Everything is going to be looked at,” said a senior administration official, speaking anonymously to preview the order before it was signed.
The official conceded a complete gutting of the law would require Congress to act — “This is not an attempt to undo Dodd-Frank” — but identified areas where Trump could make unilateral changes, like placing his own directors at key regulatory bodies.
Dodd-Frank is one of those well-intentioned laws that was passed after a crisis when lawmakers were under severe duress to “do something.” The result is an incredibly burdensome, expensive, and punitive regulatory structure that often prevents businesses from acting in the best interests of their stakeholders. It also bleeds money away from productive areas of the economy in order to feed the regulatory compliance industry.
But I appreciate the fact that President Trump is beginning with an effort to seek informed advice and the deference to Congress’ authority and responsibility to act.
And then there’s this:
A second action Friday will direct the Department of Labor to cease implementation of an Obama administration rule on retirement investment advisers, which is supposed to take effect in April.
That measure, called the “Fiduciary Rule,” required retirement advisers to always act in their clients’ best interests. But the Trump administration official said the rule was a “complete mess” with a litany of unintended consequences.
This was another one of those land mines that President Obama planted for Trump. It was a sweeping regulation that Obama based in a 1974 law that was intentionally set to phase in after Obama left office. It sounds great on paper. After all, who wouldn’t like to “requires retirement advisers to always act in their clients’ best interests?” What it really did was impose an expensive regulation that would most likely have eaten into the investment returns of middle class investors.
So while the media will follow the Obama playbook and claim that Trump is stripping out regulations to help Wall Street, the reality is that this was an ill-conceived regulation that would have benefited the deep-pocket investors at the expense of the rest of us. This is an area where the regulations are in need of reform, but this was not the reform it needs.

0838, 03 February 2017


  1. Kevin Scheunemann

    Dodd-frank needs to be a abolished when it comes to HELOCS. It inhibits business investment!

  2. billphoto

    I think we all need to acknowledge what Trump is facing.  The pendulum of politics swings back and forth. So it was after Richard Nixon embarrassed our Country with Watergate, we elected a squeaky clean Jimmy Carter. Clinton, “the dress” and Bush; another example.
    Following the swing of the pendulum, Hillary Clinton should have been our next President but she got blind sided by Barry Soetoro. an inexperienced community organizer from Chicago, who had changed his name to, Barack Obama, During his tenure, many argued if he was intentionally trying to destroy America or if he was simply incompetent but the end result is a country in shambles.
    Barry does not get the credit he deserves. Without his abuse of power, voters may not have desired someone from outside the Beltway. No matter if your opinion of “the Donald” is good, bad or indifferent, America took a leap of faith in electing this man and the job he faces is one like no one in history has ever faced. Trump is opposed by the Democrats, the Republicans, the federal bureaucracy and so many others more interested in preserving the status quo.
    He is the man in a lifeboat with many holes trying to stay afloat.  Guaranteed he will screw up but pray he is able to drain the swamp and return our Country to us.

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