FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Dec. 8, 2017
Trump Tweets Tough on Wall Street As Record Shows Opposite
Washington — Today President Trump tweeted out a promise to stiffen penalties against Wells Fargo, the scandal-ridden megabank, and other banks. The message was an apparent response to a Reuters report that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau would ease up on Wells in a current enforcement action.
“The notion that this administration is or will be tough on Wall Street doesn’t pass the laugh test, and that fact is evident in deeds, not tweets,” said Lisa Donner, executive director, Americans for Financial Reform. “Trump has put Goldman Sachs executives in the most senior positions in the government, and pushed for a giant tax cut for Wall Street.
“And, his man Mick Mulvaney, whose appointment as acting director was unlawful, is trying to dismantle the CFPB from within, including halting enforcement actions against various bad actors,” Donner said.
What’s more: Trump himself already signed legislation benefiting Wells Fargo! He rolled back a rule written by the CFPB that would have restored consumers’ rights to band together to sue big banks accused of wrongdoing. Now, consumers have to use forced arbitration, a secretive process that Wells Fargo especially leans on heavily to keep its own customers from having their day in court.
Trump has also done more for the interests of Goldman Sachs than any president in decades. By putting people like Gary Cohn (head of the National Economic Council), Steve Mnuchin (Treasury Secretary) and Jay Clayton (chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission) in key positions, Trump is allowing the Wall Street bank to profit in many different ways, as documented by a recent AFR report.
The tweet also demonstrates a total lack of regard for the independence that Congress set down in the law when it created CFPB. This is a major issue in two separate lawsuits that have been brought against Trump’s unlawful effort to install Mick Mulvaney, a senior White House official, as acting director of the agency. AFR and other public interest groups filed an amicus brief today making this point.
“If anyone needed more evidence of the serious threat to the independence of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau from this administration, it appeared on Twitter this morning as Trump appeared to intervene directly into enforcement action,” Donner said. “A White House official like Mick Mulvaney shouldn’t be trying to run the consumer bureau. What we need is a professional, like Leandra English, until the Senate confirms a successor.”
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