For the first two weeks of President Trump’s administration, it seemed as though White House senior strategist Steven K. Bannon was calling the shots. With his protectionist stance on trade and immigration, Trump appeared to be hewing exactly to the protectionist, nationalist economic policies that Bannon has espoused.
That changed on Friday. Trump ordered a reconsideration of some of the rules imposed on Wall Street in 2010 after the mortgage crisis, signaling an approach at odds with Bannon’s views. The former Goldman Sachs banker has argued for stricter regulations, and he has had scathing words for financiers.
.. Bannon faulted greed for the financial crisis, “much of it driven by the greed of the investment banks.” He went on to say that bankers should have forfeited their bonuses and equity and faced criminal charges.
“The people who ran the banks and ran the hedge funds have never really been held accountable for what they did,” Bannon said. “That’s what I think is fueling this populist revolt.”
.. Bannon railed against the federal rescue of major financial institutions in 2008, calling it contrary to “the underpinnings of the Judeo-Christian West.” He complained that banks were borrowing too much, and suggested that they should focus on lending to businesses, rather than trading on financial markets.
.. During the campaign, the president was not that sympathetic to big banks,” Cramer said to Gary Cohn, director of Trump’s National Economic Council. “What happened between campaign Trump and President Trump?”
Cohn responded that the president was allowing his advisers leeway to pursue a deregulatory agenda, in response to arguments from the business lobby.
“He’s heard from over 50 CEOs that regulatory issues are what’s slowing them down,” Cohn said. “He is giving us the latitude to fix what we think is wrong.”