Trump Eyes Dodd-Frank Repeal, Nominates Jim Clinger as Chair of FDIC

President Trump has nominated Jim Clinger as Chairman of the FDIC, taking aim at Dodd-Frank.

The push towards the repeal and elimination of key provisions of Dodd-Frank may be moving slightly closer to reality in the foreseeable future following the nomination of Jim Clinger by President Donald Trump to chair the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). One of the body’s principle functions is to help safeguard lagging banks, whilst also ensuring minimum deposit thresholds – Clinger is a known Dodd-Frank skeptic, which could steer the direction of the group.

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The latest nomination breathes life into an otherwise formally untenable prospect, the outright repeal of Dodd-Frank. Given the complexity and scope of the legislation, GOP lawmakers have found it a formidable task to simply repeal the law, despite previous pledges to this effect by President Trump during his election campaign. However, looking to kindle jobs and economic growth in the US, Dodd-Frank has increasingly come into the crosshairs of the administration, especially in recent months.

Allies in the right places?

Earlier this month, the US House of Representatives approved legislation to repeal and replace major parts of the Dodd-Frank law – this saw the passage of the CHOICE act, or the Financial Creating Hope and Opportunity for Investors, Consumers and Entrepreneurs Act, which passed on partisan lines. Despite its passage, the bill will likely face substantial resistance from the Senate, which holds a slimmer Republican majority, not to mention opposition from within the party itself.

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The nomination of Mr. Clinger could represent another concerted push towards repeal, albeit from a different flank entirely. The former aide to conservative lawmaker Jeb Hensarling was well met by a combination of lobbyists and other opponents of additional regulatory actions.

His ascension to Chair of the FDIC places him in a critical role which could dictate the future of the legislation itself. The FDIC was responsible for co-writing multiple rules with the Federal Reserve and other regulators to initially push Dodd-Frank into effect. The entity also played a central role in the Volcker rule’s ban on banks gambling with their own capital, a particular point of discord amongst Wall Street Banks.

Dodd-Frank has never been particularly popular amongst many Republicans, given its ‘oppressive’ label. While its effectiveness and future may be up for debate, its influence is undeniable, effectively winnowing the field of foreign exchange (FX) brokers in the country via heightened capital requirements. Despite a wide field of brokers prior to the passage of Dodd-Frank, to date scarcely a couple of providers remain to operate services in the US.

Despite the nomination as Chairman of the FDIC, the Senate still must confirm Mr. Clinger. His approval would see him begin his tenure as early as November 2017, succeeding Martin Gruenberg, a former Obama appointee.

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