Trump to dismantle Dodd-Frank Wall Street rules through executive orders

WASHINGTON — President Trump will sign two directives on Friday rolling back key financial regulations of the Obama era, including restrictions on Wall Street banks and on financial advisers who sell clients expensive financial products with higher commissions, a White House adviser said.

The two executive actions would not take effect immediately, but rather ask federal agencies to review options to cancel existing or proposed regulations, a senior White House official told reporters in a briefing Thursday. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the orders were not yet final.

Trump is scheduled to sign executive orders in a ceremony Friday afternoon. Previous executive orders have been far more sweeping than originally advertised. The two executive actions Trump plans to sign are:

► An executive order targeting the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act — and especially the so-called Volcker rule prohibiting banks from making speculative investments. The order would direct the secretary of the Treasury to review regulations on financial institutions and report back specific recommendations to the president.

Among the actions being considered are "personnel actions," the White House official said. While he did not identify those actions, the most vulnerable financial regulator is Richard Cordray, the director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. A federal appeals court ruled last year that the bureau's structure was unconstitutional he exercises "massive, unchecked power" independent of the president. As a remedy, the court said, the president ought to be able to fire.

It could also include a dismantling of "orderly liquidation" authority for too-big-to-fail banks. Last week, the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel released a 2010 legal opinion raising constitutional questions about the authority of bankruptcy courts to seize those banks, suggesting that the Trump administration was prepared to rely on the previously undisclosed legal advice.

► A presidential memorandum to the secretary of Labor ordering a delay in implementing a rule requiring financial advisers to act in their clients' best interests. The regulation, known as the fiduciary rule, is scheduled to go into effect April 10. Opponents argue that it would discourage financial advisers from working with low-net worth clients.

The secretary of Labor could delay implementation of the rule, but repealing it would require starting the rulemaking process over from the beginning. That's because the rule was already finalized last year, with a one-year grace period for compliance. President Obama already vetoed an attempt by congressional Republicans to kill the rule outright.

Copyright 2017 KING


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