Senate passes Dodd-Frank rollback; Sloan's payday

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To the House...: As expected, the Senate voted 67-31 to roll back parts of the Dodd-Frank Act. The bill, “which has a good chance of becoming law, would be the most significant revamp of financial rules since Republicans took control of government last year and the Trump administration set out broad goals to reduce business regulations,” the Wall Street Journal says. “It seeks to cut red tape and relieve lenders from some of the most onerous rules put in place after the financial crisis.” Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, New York Times, American Banker

Barney Frank, defended the law he co-sponsored, even while admitting that parts of it could be changed. “The enemies have not been able to demonize it enough to dismantle it,” he told the Financial Times.

Equifax insider indicted: The former chief information officer of Equifax’s U.S. Information Solutions unit was indicted on criminal insider-trading charges for allegedly selling almost $1 million in Equifax stock before the company announced a massive customer data breach last year. The executive, Jun Ying, also faces civil charges from the Securities and Exchange Commission. He had been in line to become the credit bureau’s global chief information officer. Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, New York Times, Washington Post, American Banker

Hello, Larry: Lawrence Kudlow said he accepted President Trump’s offer to become director of the National Economic Council. “I immediately accepted. I said I would be honored to accept,” he said after receiving a call from the president on Tuesday. The official announcement from the White House is expected on Thursday. Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, New York Times, Washington Post, American Banker

Kudlow, a long-time CNBC commentator, “is an excellent choice to replace Gary Cohn, having helped Mr. Trump craft his campaign tax plan,” the Wall Street Journal’s editorial board said. “Mr. Kudlow, a stalwart from the GOP’s growth wing going back to the Reagan Administration, also played a crucial role persuading Congress to support the reform that passed in December. His best asset is that Mr. Trump needs faster growth and rising wages to succeed, and that has been Mr. Kudlow’s life’s work.”

Here’s where Kudlow stands on the major economic issues:

Ad ban: Google said it will ban advertisements for cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings starting in June. It follows a similar move by Facebook in January. Financial Times, New York Times

Wall Street Journal

Nice work if you can get it: Wells Fargo said it paid CEO Timothy Sloan $17.4 million in compensation last year, his first full year heading the bank. He received $2.4 million in base pay plus $15 million in stock, but no cash bonus, as he recommended. Sloan’s pay package was the lowest among major U.S. bank executive but 36% more than he received in 2016; he was promoted to CEO in October 2016, shortly after the bank’s phony accounts scandal came to light.

Déjà vu all over again?: Despite moves by the government to make sure it doesn’t happen again, another financial crisis very well might occur. The “deeper economic forces that since the 1970s have produced crises roughly every decade … are still at work today: ample flows of capital across borders, mounting debts owed by governments, corporations and households, and ultralow interest rates that nurture risk-taking in hidden corners of the economy,” the paper says.

Financial Times

Wider reach: Randal Quarles, the Federal Reserve’s vice chair for supervision, is being considered to lead the Financial Stability Board, the body that oversees international financial regulation. “If his candidacy were to gain traction it would mark a significant change of gear from the regime of Mark Carney, the Bank of England governor who has overseen the body’s efforts to tighten post-crisis regulation since 2011. His deregulatory instincts would mark a contrast with some of the work pushed by the FSB following the financial meltdown.”

True cost: JPMorgan Chase’s rescue of Bear Stearns 10 years ago for $10 a share appeared to be a steal. “Yet the full cost of the deal to JPMorgan probably outweighed the benefits,” the paper says.

Sick daze: More than a quarter of British bankers say their job is hurting their health and wellbeing, while a similar percentage say they are afraid of speaking up publicly about their concerns, according to the third annual survey by the Banking Standards Board. More than 36,000 employees at 25 banks and building societies participated in the survey, which was conducted last year.


“This bill has received widespread support for good reason: the cycle of lending and job creation has been stifled by onerous regulation.” — Senate Banking Committee Chairman Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, before his legislation to roll back parts of the Dodd-Frank Act passed the Senate Wednesday.

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