Trump Plans to Gut Dodd-Frank Because His Friends “Just Can’t Borrow Money”

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President Trump plans to sign an executive order rolling back regulations that his friends find annoying:

The move would address another one of Trump’s campaign promises: Dismantling 2010’s financial reform legislation, known as Dodd Frank. The legislation forced banks to take various steps to prevent another financial crisis, including holding more capital and taking yearly “stress tests” to prove they could withstand economic turbulence. The financial industry, particularly its small community banks, complained the rules went too far.

“We expect to be cutting a lot out of Dodd-Frank,” Trump said during a meeting with business leaders Friday morning. “Because frankly, I have so many people, friends of mine, that had nice businesses, they just can’t borrow money … because the banks just won’t let them borrow because of the rules and regulations in Dodd Frank.”

Hey, who needs rules to make banks safer and prevent another financial crash? That’s for weenies. Trump’s rich friends are suffering, and that’s all that matters.

But just in case anyone cares, Trump’s friends aren’t suffering. Last year, total commercial lending hit $2 trillion, compared to $1.5 trillion at the height of the housing bubble. And ever since Dodd-Frank passed, commercial lending has been increasing quite smartly, at about 10 percent per year. That’s higher growth than in the two decades before Obama was elected.

But those are just boring old facts. What matters is Trump’s fiction about his poor friends who can’t get loans. Carry on.

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THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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