On the first anniversary of the Trump administration, the Take on Wall Street coalition catalogs the ways that Wall Street made bank on Trump in 2017.
The report includes facts about lobbying spending that hit $2 billion in the last election cycle, and continues unabated, Wall Street executives in the Trump administration and regulatory agencies, tax cut windfalls for the finance industry, and a deregulatory free-for-all. It also includes a case study of how Wells Fargo’s outrageous conduct somehow earned it the distinction of being the biggest winner from the Trump-Republican tax bill.
The New York investment bank has had other periods in the sun, but never before have its priorities been so hardwired into an administration in Washington. The report details Goldman’s interests in areas of public policy including financial regulation, tax cuts and infrastructure.
“No other piece of Dodd-Frank “mattered to Goldman quite like the Volcker Rule, which would protect banks’ solvency by limiting their freedom to make speculative trades with their own money. Unless Goldman could initiate what [AFR Policy Director Marcus] Stanley called the ‘complexity two-step’ — win a carve-out so a new rule wouldn’t interfere with legitimate business and then use that carve-out to render a rule toothless — Volcker would slam the door shut on the entire direction in which Blankfein and Cohn had taken Goldman.”
“We are seriously concerned about what Jay Clayton’s leadership will mean for investors and the economy. His longtime client, Goldman Sachs, played a central role in the devastating financial crisis of 2008 and has a long record of questionable market behavior. Clayton himself has numerous direct personal conflicts of interest.”
“AFR strongly supports measures to both limit and control risks of physical commodity involvement at financial holding companies. …Specifically, we support the new consolidated limits on the total size of commodity holdings, the capital increase to 300 percent risk weights applied to commodities held under 4(k), and more…”
We can, and will, fight at every step against Wall Street burning it all down — again. And we’ll fight for a financial system that serves an economy that works for the rest of us.
AFR in the News: Peter Barnes – Public Interest Groups Using Ex-Goldman Exec Op-Ed in Fight for Tougher Wall Street Rules
“Public interest advocates in Washington want to turn former Goldman Sachs executive Greg Smith into their poster child for tough new rules for Wall Street. …Public Citizen and the AFL-CIO are part of a coalition, Americans for Financial Reform, that is pushing regulators to crack down on financial firms. “
“Echoing Volcker himself, Americans for Financial Reform said the rule is aimed ‘precisely’ at the problems Smith alleges, and should provide fighting power from a lobby movement to soften the rule. ‘It is crucial that regulators are not intimidated or overwhelmed by this well-funded effort, but instead move ahead to implement the Volcker Rule that Congress intended – a strong rule that truly changes the toxic culture of proprietary trading,’ the group said in a statement. ‘Smith’s statement today, along with the mountains of evidence from the financial crisis, demonstrates yet again how much we need a Volcker Rule that works.’”
“Advocates for tough implementation of financial reform are saying that a head-turning op-ed from a former employee of Goldman Sachs proves the need for strict rules on the financial sector. In a blistering piece published Wednesday by The New York Times, Greg Smith announced his resignation as an executive director at the firm, while offering a lengthy takedown of what it has become. He argued that under current leadership, Goldman had placed its own profit-hunting ahead of the well-being of its clients, who he said were called ‘muppets’ behind closed doors. …Americans for Financial Reform issued a statement saying Smith had ‘laid bare’ problems that ‘remain pervasive at our largest banks.’ The proper prescription? Tough implementation of the ‘Volcker Rule.’”