Promised Regulatory Bonfire Might Finally Get Underway

Team Trump’s got a few months to do what they couldn’t in their first year-plus.
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(Fifth Third Bancorp)

(Fifth Third Bancorp)

It feels like at least 100 years, but Donald Trump has only been president for a little more than 14 months. Given that each of those months seems like a decade or so, that may not seem like a lot. But it is almost one-third of his four-year term. What’s more, given how that third has gone, voters seem ready to make the second half of said term much more difficult for him. Which means he’s only got a few months to really get things going.

One of those things is the promised regulatory bonfire upon which banks are to be invited to throw every rule and restriction they do not like. This has been delayed by Congress’ inability to do pretty much anything other than cut taxes for rich people, but also by the president’s somewhat lackadaisical approach to hiring people. This may have seemed a good strategy for unmaking the deep state, but as it turns out one needs to have a pretty deep state to destroy it from within. For example, many of the things that Trump and his Wall Street buddies would like to see go away—the Volcker Rule, for instance, or liquidity requirements, or restrictions of leveraged lending—require the cooperation of a whole galaxy of acronyms that Trump hasn’t bothered to learn. And one of those authorities, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., still has no Trump-appointed chief to help her colleagues at the Fed and OCC get to the hard work of dismantling things.

Just in the nick of time, however, comes such a person.

Jelena McWilliams, the top lawyer at Cincinnati-based Fifth Third Bancorp, is set to succeed Obama-appointee Martin Gruenberg as head of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. as early as April…. Ms. McWilliam’s arrival likely will coincide with the completion of a bill in Congress aimed at easing crisis-era banking regulations, another catalyst for changes to the financial rule book.

Arrival of Final Bank Regulator Could Speed Up Easing of Rules [WSJ]

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