Central Bank boss rebukes Trump on financial deregulation

Yellen's term as central bank chief expires next year, and it may be her last. Trump has not indicated that he will appoint her to a new term.
By Leon Clarke | Aug 30, 2017
President Trump's plans to lift regulations on the U.S. financial system received criticism from Janet Yellen, the U.S. Central Bank chief. Yellen said in a speech at the annual meeting of central bankers in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, that the existing regulations make the system "substantially safer" and do not impede growth or lending.

Trump has vowed to "do a number on" the Dodd-Frank law that reined in Wall Street speculation and trading. Conservative-leaning economists and investors have been pushing for loosening of this law and other financial regulations, which they argue get in the way of business and job creation.

Steve Mnuchin, Trump's Treasury secretary and a former Goldman Sachs banker, is of this school of thought. He has said that the U.S. economy will be able to sustain a growth rate of 3% a year or more only after banks are freed of the confines of Dodd-Frank.

But Yellen told her banker audience that this anti-regulation stance is misguided. She said that too little regulation set the U.S. economy up for the recession of 2008 and that to deregulate would be to repeat the mistakes that led to the 2008 crisis.
"Already, for some, memories of this experience may be fadingmemories of just how costly the financial crisis was," she said.
Yellen added that some small changes to regulations may be appropriate. An example, she said, would be a possible relaxation of the Volcker rule, which prevents banks from using their own funds to make trade shares.
But she stressed that any adjustment to regulations should be "modest" and should "preserve the increase in resilience" that post-recession reforms gave the system.
Yellen's term as central bank chief expires next year, and it may be her last. Trump has not indicated that he will appoint her to a new term.
Trump has already nominated a new Fed vice-chair of financial supervision, Randal Quarles, who has signaled that he shares Trump's desire to chop down existing regulations.

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