Jamie Dimon had an interesting day. After years of painfully laboring under the yoke of the Dodd-Frank Act – building up capital buffers, slashing prop-trading units, stressing over stress tests – a savior appeared, in the flesh, a gleaming orange ray of light and hope shining down from above, offering sudden release from the shackles of post-crisis reforms. His name was Donald Trump.
For the past few years Dimon and his peers have become accustomed to holding their tongues on Dodd-Frank, still scarred by hourslong congressional testimonies and sporadic populist uprisings. Even after Trump's election made real the promise of “dismantling” the bill, Dimon and Lloyd Blankfein were offering only the mildest criticisms, saying, in remarkably similar tones, hey, let's not dump the whole thing but maybe just make some tweaks here and there.
But on Friday President Trump gave license to Wall Street's darkest urges, signing an executive order that would allow regulators to begin the deregulatory bonanza. “We have some of the bankers here,” Trump said, totally blowing whatever cover the financiers attending the ceremony might have had. “There’s no body better to tell me about Dodd-Frank than Jamie.”
— CNBC Now (@CNBCnow) February 3, 2017
But Jamie hasn't been Trump's only confidant on banking matters. “We expect to be cutting a lot out of Dodd-Frank because frankly I have so many people, friends of mine, that have nice businesses,” Trump explained. “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 of Dodd-Frank.” Which, well, whatever.
So there was Jamie Dimon, alongside Blackstone's Steve Schwarzman and assorted other corporate leaders – also Ivanka and Jared, just because – watching as the president of the United States snipped off their symbolic fetters and told them to run free, free as the wind. Will they soar?
Here's looking at you, Bonus Watch '18.