May 7, 2017


Why Wall Street Has Stopped Listening to Donald Trump (Reuters, May 02, 2017)

"I don't take Trump seriously," said a senior executive at one of the country's six largest banks. "I'm listening less and less."

Like most who wanted to share their more candid views privately, the executive spoke on the condition of anonymity to avoid angering the president, his employer or business associates. But his comments were echoed by at least a dozen institutional investors and bank executives who spoke to Reuters.

While they remain hopeful Trump will be able to get reforms through Congress, the lack of progress combined with conflicting messages coming out of the administration make it hard to put faith in anything, they said.

Several cited comments on Monday from Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who joked on a panel that bank investors should thank him for boosting share prices. Hours later, Bloomberg News published an interview with Trump, in which said he was considering breaking up the country's biggest banks - an idea that is an anathema to shareholders of lenders like JPMorgan, Bank of America Corp or Citigroup Inc.

However, few people at the event in the Beverly Hilton Hotel appeared to take the comment seriously.

"Until it's signed into law, you can't bank on it," said Aaron Cutler, a regulatory lawyer at Hogan Lovells who lobbies Congress on behalf of banks and hedge funds and was milling about on a sunny terrace. He said his clients are not yet acting on anything the administration says.

A report last week by PwC's financial services regulatory practice echoed that view. Despite Trump's talk of quick action, PwC predicts his executive orders will "yield few results," that plans to repeal a package of financial regulations called Dodd-Frank will not happen, and that any change in Washington will be slow due to a lack of consensus, a slothy appointments process and upcoming midterm elections.

Posted by at May 7, 2017 8:08 AM


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