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BFCSA: USA Trump wants to break up the Big Banks: No bank too big to fail. Glass Steagall on the table

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Trump's GOP wants to break up big banks

Trump following Democrats' lead

By Heather Long

Published 07/19 2016


Donald Trump wants to crack down on Wall Street.  At Trump's urging, the GOP formally endorsed breaking up America's big banks Monday. It's almost like the Republicans were taking a page from liberal senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren who have advocated for exactly that to ensure no bank is "too big too fail."

The official Republican platform for 2016 calls for bringing back the Glass-Steagall Act, a law put in place during the Great Depression to restrict banks from serving both Wall Street and Main Street. President Bill Clinton repealed the law in 1999.  In a sign of just how unpopular Wall Street is in America right now, reinstating the Glass-Steagall Act is in both the Republican and Democratic platforms.

Trump's campaign manager Paul Manafort told reporters it was Trump's idea to bring back Glass-Steagall and repeal Dodd-Frank, the Obama-era law to curb bad banking practices after the financial crisis.  "These are all things that Mr. Trump has spoken about on the campaign trail: the importance of breaking the gridlock, breaking up the rigged system, the rigged banking system, the rigged economic system, the rigged political system," Manafort said.  This kind of talk has confused Wall Street over what Trump really wants.

Big banks don't like the idea of Glass-Steagall returning because companies like JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America would likely have to break up and get smaller.  But Trump also wants to get rid of Dodd-Frank, a stance that most banks, large and small, support. Bank CEOs blame the law for raising their costs dramatically.  "The Dodd-Frank law, the Democrats' legislative Godzilla, is crushing small and community banks and other lenders," the GOP platform states. "We must overturn the regulatory nightmare."

Wall Street and the GOP are usually friendly with bankers giving a lot of money to Republican candidates, but not this year. Wall Street has given little to Trump so far, and hardly any bankers are attending the Republican convention in Cleveland.  Sanders made bringing back Glass-Steagall a key part of his platform for president. He often accused Hillary Clinton of not supporting it because of the millions of dollars in speaking fees she has received from Wall Street banks.

Trump will likely try to pick up where Sanders left off. The Democrats call for an "updated" version of the law since Clinton has repeatedly stressed that Wall Street today is more than just banks.  While there's a clear anti-Wall Street push in Election 2016, bankers are too worried about Glass-Steagall actually coming back.  "I think the chances of this happening are pretty slim. I can't see it getting through the senate," says Greg Valliere, chief strategist at Horizon Investments.

CNN's Tal Kopan contributed to this story.


The real reason why Wall Streeters paid $50k to have dinner with Donald Trump Tuesday night

Donald J. Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee for president, began making the rounds on Wall Street to raise much-needed cash for his campaign.  On Tuesday evening, Trump held a fundraiser dinner at the posh New York City restaurant, Le Cirque, with tickets going for $50,000 a seat. The event brought in an estimated $3 million.

Nearly 60 people were in attendance for the dinner, including: hedge fund billionaire John Paulson, private equity chief Stephen Feinberg of Cerberus Capital, billionaire activist investor Carl Icahn, real estate developer Richard LeFrak, hedge fund manager Robert Mercer of Renaissance Technologies, and Anthony Scaramucci of SkyBridge Capital. New York Jets owner Woody Johnson was there too.

“What brought everyone all together wasn’t necessarily a love for Donald Trump, but a huge commonality to make sure Hillary Clinton doesn’t win,” said one attendee.



Most of these business titans are new to the Trump train. During the primaries, they supported different Republican candidates. For instance, Paulson gave to pro-Scott Walker and Jeb Bush super PACs, while Mercer put millions towards Ted Cruz, records show. Icahn, on the other hand, endorsed Trump in the fall of 2015.


Trump didn't give a formal speech to the crowd. Instead, he was more conversational.  Over steaks and branzino, he told the group that he'd like to see an agreement reached regarding corporate taxes. He'd like for congress and companies to figure out how to bring the overseas profits back to the US.  "That's the kind of stuff Trump should be talking about," said the person who attended. "The issue is how do you thread the needle to make it an everyday person’s issue? The typical guy in Iowa or Kansas is not going to understand that's a way you bring back economic growth. It's inside baseball."


Trump also downplayed concerns about his campaign’s finances.  Trump, who self-funded his campaign during the primaries, is massively trailing behind Hillary Clinton’s campaign war chest. Filings show that Trump had about $1.29 million cash on hand at the end of May, while Clinton had $42.5 million.  During the dinner, Trump made a point that he's not running a traditional campaign and he's not a traditional candidate. He doesn't need to raise $1 billion. He already generates free publicity from the media coverage. He also noted that there were thousands of anti-Trump ads that ran during the primaries and he still won.


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