FRIEND OR FOE? Optimism on Wall Street continues as U.S. stocks notch new all-time highs. The Republican sweep is their best chance in years in scaling back the onerous Dodd Frank legislation. Texas Congressman (and Treasury short-lister) Jeb Hensarling is the biggest proponent of this action. But he is also likely to cause Wall Street some headaches. As Chairman of the House Financial Service Committee, Hensarling plans to scrap the Volcker rule, rein in the CFPB and eliminate other regulations within Dodd-Frank (which has the heads of the major banks cheering).
However, Hensarling’s new bill won’t give the banks the freedom they want without having to raise hundreds of billions of capital. Hensarling’s distaste for over-regulation is well known. But he also lays blame for failing to break up too-big-to-fail banks and is hoping his new bill will more than address that issue.
STACKING THE DECK: As President Obama enters the dusk of his presidency, he is trying to shore up his legacy and make Donald Trump’s life a little more difficult than it already is. While Trump has promised he will unleash fossil fuel development as part of his plan to stimulate growth in the U.S., Obama has other plans. The Interior Department issued its five-year road map for offshore oil and gas drilling and two areas in the Arctic are off limits. While Trump will likely repeal the plan, it will likely take a few years to unwind.
BUMPY ROAD AHEAD?: Throughout the campaign, and even in his victory speech, President-elect Trump promoted his plans for a one trillion dollar infrastructure plan. Now, as the realities of the American governing system are setting in, both Democrats and Republicans are raising red flags. Democrats think the plan will be a massive corporate welfare project. Republicans think the one trillion dollar price tag is too much and are concerned about “pay-fors.” Trump’s advisors have thrown out a number of different ways they plan to fund the plan. All eyes will be on Capitol Hill to see which one catches fire.
THE FIRST 100 DAYS: Donald Trump announced -- via video -- the executive actions he plans to take on in his first 100 days once he assumes office in January. Building on one of his campaign themes, the main focus was bringing various industry jobs back to ito the U.S., but he also leaves out major pillars that got him elected. Trump says he will withdraw from TPP, kill restrictions on production of American energy, protect the country from cyber attacks and ban government officials from lobbying for five years to drain the swamp.
There was one glaring omission that may have a few the Republican heads spinning - no mention of repealing Obamacare - the bane of their existence for over six years now and counting, and no mention of building the wall or immigration deportations. We suspect those issues won’t be forgotten for long...