President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. last week placed proponents of stronger regulation on financial regulatory teams, stoking fears by industry groups that he is preparing for an unexpected wave of corporate oversight.
It would be a sharp reversal from the Trump administration, which for four years benefited Wall Street with its push to loosen bank rules and weaken post-crisis financial regulations, Alan Rappeport and Jeanna Smialek reported.
Among those selected for the financial regulatory transition teams are Gary Gensler, who led the Commodity Futures Trading Commission during the Obama administration. He pushed through dozens of tough rules after the 2010 Dodd-Frank law, including some that the Trump administration has watered down.
Also on the teams are Leandra English, a former deputy director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and Dennis Kelleher, a co-founder of Better Markets, a prominent financial reform advocacy group. Ms. English tried, unsuccessfully, to prevent Mr. Trump from installing a critic of her bureau, Mick Mulvaney, as its acting director three years ago.
While a Biden presidency may be constrained by a divided Congress, regulatory agencies wield enormous power given their ability to write and interpret rules and decide how strictly to enforce them.
For example, a Biden administration could reinstate the consumer bureau’s efforts to limit payday lending and install leaders at the Securities and Exchange Commission and Labor Department who support “sustainable investing.”
Some view the “landing teams” as a sign that Mr. Biden is heeding the concerns of the progressive wing of his party and planning to put consumers ahead of corporations.
Banks, though wary, are not without a say in Washington.
“They get their voices heard enough — we know what they think,” Anat R. Admati, a professor of finance and economics at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business and an expert in regulation, said of the banks. “There are a lot of people hurting in this economy. The financial sector is not among them.”
Source: Read Full Article