A Trump card for regulation?

It’s difficult to argue against any sensible form of regulation that ultimately makes the financial markets fairer and safer for all participants, but implementing and complying with all the new rules that apply across our industry is, undeniably, a very costly business. So when President-elect Trump’s newly sworn-in, eager-to-please United States Congress puts forth a bill which could force regulators to revisit and modify their rules every few years in an effort to prove that the “benefits of the intended regulation justify the costs”, you have to wonder how this will play out.

Consumers crow about the “bad guys” in Wall Street pushing up the price of gasoline and shrinking their pension pots. Financial institutions include the costs of complying with new regulation as an explicit line item on their earnings reports. And, weighed up against big business, politicians will always claim to have at heart the best interests of the man or woman on the street. Especially those who run on a “populist message” of making their country great again and draining the metaphorical swamp.

The impact of regulation is notoriously difficult to measure, so what metrics do Trump’s folks have in mind, I wonder? And how best to keep the oft-uneasy peace between Wall Street and Main Street? With the winds of change blowing across the White House lawn at gale force, I guess time will tell.

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