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Donald Trump's acceptance speech mentioned pretty much every campaign issue but one: banks.
No mention of efforts to cut financial regulation. Nothing about the Republican Party platform's new aim to break up the big banks. And not a word about Hillary Clinton's long-standing ties to Wall Street kingpins and the tens of millions she's accepted in donations from them.
It's not like the GOP nominee was going for brevity.
Thursday night's 76-minute screed promised safer streets, better opportunities for gays and women, a "border wall" crackdown on immigrants, victory in the Middle East, integrity in government, respect for police and veterans, stronger trade policies and lower taxes — a staggering potpourri that was nonetheless devoid of America's favorite political punching bag: the finance industry.
"Maybe they decided they had other fish to fry," said Brian Gardner, Washington analyst for financial services firm Keefe, Bruyette & Woods. "In their outreach to (Bernie) Sanders voters and the unending populist attack that he has tying Clinton to Wall Street and the Wall Street establishment, that would have been an effective line for him and would have fit well in the speech. I don't understand it."
Trump's failure to mention banks was all the more surprising considering that one of the few tidbits of actual policy news to come out of the Republican gathering in Cleveland was a plank in the party platform to reinstitute the Glass-Steagall Act. Since the Great Depression, that regulation had installed a firewall between commercial and investment banking, but its repeal in 1998 is often cited as helping cause the financial crisis.
The omission added another layer of dichotomy to an already scattershot campaign. Trump has expressed disdain for the Dodd-Frank regulations passed since the crisis and massive bailout that followed — but he now carries the banner for a party that ostensibly wants to break up big Wall Street institutions.
In addition to showing that bank reform may carry a low priority in a Trump administration, there may have been practical considerations. Clinton has raised scads of money from Wall Street — nearly $40 million, according to the latest Open Secrets count — while Trump has seen little as he has tried to stoke up his campaign coffers.
"Being a cynic, I would say they're so far behind on fundraising, why would they want to antagonize Wall Street at this point?" said Greg Valliere, chief strategist at Horizon Investments and a leading voice on the Wall Street-Washington connection. "Just because something is in a platform doesn't mean he's going to advocate it. A platform is just a bunch of words."
Gardner also thinks investors should be careful of taking anything too literally at this point.
"I don't think there's a monolithic party-wide view of Wall Street within the GOP," he said. "Despite what the platform says, I don't think support of Glass-Steagall is a widely held view among rank-and-file Republicans, especially among those in Congress."
Indeed, there have been previous attempts to reintroduce Glass-Steagall, and they've met with no success and little enthusiasm.
Interestingly, the Democrats are likely to have a conversation about the law as well when they convene next week in Philadelphia.
A draft of the proposed Democratic platform makes brief mention of it, calling for "an updated and modernized version of Glass-Steagall and breaking up too-big-to-fail financial institutions that pose a systemic risk to the stability of our economy." Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a hero among the party's core progressives, has been looking to drive a dagger through Wall Street, and implementing a Glass-Steagall-like measure would go a long way toward accomplishing that.
However, the hopes may be dim even in the event of Democratic control.
"If we're talking the biggest banks, Clinton was the Democratic senator from New York. She has a long history of supporting the largest banks in the entire country," said Dick Bove, vice president of equity research at Rafferty Capital Markets. "I don't care what she says in her party platform, she knows where the bread is buttered, and it's working with the biggest banks."
A true attack on the biggest Wall Street institutions also isn't likely under Republicans, who likely will be more favorable toward banks overall, Bove said.
"I was listening closely to see if (Trump) was going to say something about Dodd-Frank or Glass-Steagall," he added. "The fact that he didn't says to me there's too much conflict over this issue within the Republican Party itself. Getting back to Glass-Steagall is never going to fly. It's just not something that he's going to push at all."