White House

Trump's executive order directs Treasury to submit a report on possible financial regulation changes within 120 days

Trump signs EO on financial regulation & orders pause in fiduciary rule
Trump signs EO on financial regulation & orders pause in fiduciary rule

President Donald Trump took action on Friday to start easing regulations on the financial industry.

The order starts a review of the financial system regulations including the Dodd-Frank reform act, the banking industry rules passed after the 2008 financial crisis that he heavily criticized on the campaign trail. A second action was expected to delay a rule intended to require financial advisors to give customers advice that is in their best interest.

Trump, who won the White House on a populist platform filled with jabs at Wall Street titans, said he would cut "a lot" of the Dodd-Frank changes before a Friday advisory meeting that included JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon and Blackstone CEO Steve Schwarzman. Trump has argued the Obama-era rules enacted after the crisis have stifled business and job creation.

Bank stocks popped after Trump's move.

The president's order directs the Treasury Department to review whether existing laws and regulations follow what Trump identified as "core principles" of his administration. He directed the Treasury secretary to file a report within 120 days on possible regulatory changes or legislative recommendations.

The order said the review will focus on several broad administration goals that largely relate to his campaign pledges to reduce government involvement in business and make American companies more competitive. It said Trump aims to "empower Americans to make independent financial decisions," "prevent taxpayer-funded bailouts" and create economic growth through "more rigorous regulatory impact analysis."

The order also outlined goals to "enable American companies to be competitive with foreign firms" and "advance American interests in international financial regulatory negotiations." Trump's White House also wrote it wants to "make regulation efficient, effective and appropriately tailored" and "restore public accountability with federal financial regulatory agencies."

Supporters of the Dodd-Frank reforms, which were designed to make the financial system safer, say they increased the stability and liquidity of key institutions. Critics, many in the financial industry, have said they make it more difficult to lend and harm smaller banks.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer contended on Friday that the rules held back economic growth. He said Dodd-Frank is "frankly not doing what it's supposed to do."

Major changes to Dodd-Frank will likely require congressional action.

Key Senate Democrats criticized Trump's move. Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said Trump is letting big banks "write the rules of the road."

"If there was any doubt that President Trump had absolutely no intention to follow through on his campaign promises to working families across the country, this executive order should erase that doubt. It seems President Trump's campaign promises to rein in Wall Street weren't worth the bank notes they were printed on," Schumer said in a statement.

Wall Street critic Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., said the second action, delaying the fiduciary rules, would "make it easier for investment advisors to cheat you out of your retirement savings" and "will put two former Goldman Sachs executives in charge of gutting the rules that protect you from financial fraud and another economic meltdown."

Warren was referring to Trump Treasury nominee Steven Mnuchin and economic advisor Gary Cohn, who both worked at Goldman. Trump repeatedly targeted the firm on the campaign trail as evidence of wealthy elites' influence on the financial system.