President Trump says a lot of things. He may even really mean them when they come out of his mouth. But then a new shiny object appears in his field of vision and he forgets, or one of his “geniuses” explains why perhaps just ripping up NAFTA or icing the Export-Import Bank—satisfying though it might be—is not the way to go, or a Dean Heller or Lisa Murkowski refuses to just sign off on whatever he wants at a given moment in time.
One of the things President Trump said, way back in January, that he was all set to “do a big number” on Dodd-Frank. This actually and unusually tracked with things he’d said before becoming president, when he promised the all-but “dismantling of Dodd-Frank.” He was even still on track a couple of days later, pledging to “be cutting out a lot of Dodd-Frank.”
Fortuitously, one of Dodd-Frank’s great defenders and implementers, the Torquemada of Stress Tests, Daniel Tarullo, decided he’d rather not stick around to see it shredded. This gave Donald Trump the chance to put a real Dodd-Frank hater in that crucial post, who could essentially become the pummeler-in-chief in the doing of that big number. So did Trump appoint this guy, who not only wants to get rid of Dodd-Frank but the FDIC, banks’ obligation to disclose the interest rates they charge and the Fed itself? No. He went with this guy instead. And this guy doesn’t seem to want to take Dodd-Frank out back with a crowbar and a sock filled with quarters.
“As with any complex undertaking, after the first wave of reform, and with the benefit of experience and reflection, some refinements will undoubtedly be in order,” Randal Quarles is expected to tell lawmakers, according to a copy of his prepared remarks released late Wednesday by the Senate Banking Committee.