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Which policymakers to watch in 2017
It's no secret that Washington has been upended since the presidential election, with Donald Trump's unexpected victory forcing observers to recast predictions about what will happen in the new year. Following is a guide to which policymakers to watch and who is poised to make the biggest impact in 2017.
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The Chief
There was no bigger surprise in 2016 than Trump's election. What remains to be seen is how he will govern now that he has succeeded in winning the White House. So far, he appears to have a zest for deregulation, promising to quickly roll back key parts of the Dodd-Frank Act, with his transition team blaming the 2010 law for holding back the economy. How will Trump handle likely Senate Democrat opposition to these moves? What else does the New York real estate mogul want to tackle? 2017 will be the year we all find out.
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The Advisers
Trump is likely to delegate a lot of his financial services agenda to three people: Treasury Secretary-designate Steven Mnuchin, Office of Management and Budget Director-designate Mick Mulvaney and Carl Icahn, the activist investor that the president-elect selected as his deregulatory czar.

Mnuchin has already made waves by suggesting a top priority will be to release government control of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Mulvaney, who is currently in Congress, has already introduced a bill that would do just that. Icahn, meanwhile, has invested heavily in shares of the GSEs and would stand to benefit financially if they were recapitalized and returned to the private market.
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The Congressional Leaders
A big question overhanging Trump's administration is the president-elect's ability to get along with House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling and Sen. Mike Crapo, who is expected to take the chair of the Senate Banking Committee. Hensarling was on Trump's short-list for Treasury secretary, and is hopeful the new administration will embrace his regulatory reform bill. Still, he could object to efforts to recapitalize and spin out the GSEs. Crapo, meanwhile, will face his own problems, attempting to balance the desires of Trump with almost certain opposition from Senate Democrats on a closely divided committee.
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The Resistance
As Trump takes office, expect these four to be at the center of opposition to the new president. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., a progressive hero, has made it clear she is willing to fight to defend the Dodd-Frank Act. She will be joined by Sen. Sherrod Brown, the top Democrat on the Senate Banking Committee and Rep. Maxine Waters, the lead Democrat on the House Financial Services Committee. One unknown is how Sen. Chuck Schumer, who will be the leader of the Democrats in the Senate, will work with Trump. Will he seek to cut deals with the president-elect or instead bet on holding out against Trump's agenda?
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The Hot Seat
No regulator is being watched more carefully than Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Richard Cordray. His term doesn't expire until July 2018, but a federal appeals court recently ruled that he could be removed at will by the president. If that ruling stands, Cordray's days as director could be numbered.

Even without the court case, some speculate that Trump will fire Cordray "for cause," the current legal standard for dismissing an agency head. That is likely to spark its own legal fight, the outcome of which is also uncertain.
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The Regulators
One other outstanding question is how the current stable of regulators — Comptroller of the Currency Thomas Curry, Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Chairman Martin Gruenberg and Federal Reserve Chairman Janet Yellen — will respond to a Trump administration. All three have vowed to remain through their terms. In the case of Yellen, that gives her until 2018, but both Curry and Gruenberg have terms that are up this year.
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