Trump will now be in a position to appoint the top cop of Wall Street, the regulator of the securities industry and investment advisors. Given Trump’s skepticism of regulation in any mold, it’s likely to be an adventurous choice. Andrew Stoltmann, partner at Stoltmann Law in Chicago, predicts Trump, who was sued by the SEC over a decade ago in relation to his casino holdings, will appoint an advisor-friendly chair in the mold of a Harvey Pitt or Chris Cox. Look for a defender of the securities industry and of brokers than an investor advocate seeking the shackle Wall Street.
Trump’s win will bring certain volatility to the markets, said Andrew Friedman, principal of the The Washington Update; Wall Street, after all, loves nothing more than certainty, and a Trump administration will have little of that, at least at first. Others, like venture capitalist Peter Thiel and DoubleLine Capital founder Jeffrey Gundlach, have been more bullish on the Trump effect on the markets, with Gundlach predicting a debt-fueled surge in asset valuations.
All best are off. While President Trump’s hands may be tied, somewhat, by a more traditional Congress, excessive regulation will likely not be on the agenda. While Clinton, while campaigning, made known her desire to take on the pharmaceutical industry, the energy sector and financial services, stock in some of those categories may enjoy a bounce now that their legal paths forward are clearer.
Donald Trump has said Dodd-Frank Act is too unwieldy and that he would likely dismantle it. But Friedman says it’s not that simple.
“He’s a populist, and populists are typically anti-Wall Street,” he says. “So while I don’t think he would make Dodd-Frank tougher, I don’t know how far he would go to try to pull back on it.” Much would depend on the advisors he would have around him, and who he chooses to listen to on the details of the rules. It remains to be seen if he would really want to rescind the entire bill, given the amount of chaos that may throw into firms that have already put in place practices to adapt. The way out of Dodd-Frank is likely to be as long and drawn out as the way in was.
Trump will have the backing of a Republican Congress, so expect to see dramatic changes to the tax code, in ways that will be favorable for the affluent. His plan calls for reducing the number of tax brackets to three for personal income tax, at 12, 25 and 33 percent, and he’s advocated for ending many of common tax breaks while capping deductions. Also likely to go will be the carried interest loophole for Wall Street and the estate tax, which Trump says falls hardest on small business owners and farmers.
Trump advisor and Skybridge Capital Managing Partner Anthony Scaramucci said prior to the election Trump would repeal the Dept. of Labor’s fiduciary rule, finalized in April as he shares Trumps’ view that it is a prime example of government overstepping its bounds. “It could be the dumbest decision to come out of the U.S. government in the last 50 to 60 years. It's about like the Dred Scott decision,” Scaramucci said at the Securities Enforcement Forum in Washington last month.
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