Trump Admin Takes Aim At Obama’s Biggest Financial Regulation

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Robert Donachie Capitol Hill and Health Care Reporter
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The Trump administration unveiled a proposal Wednesday morning that would begin a substantive roll back of the broad, Obama-era banking regulation Dodd Frank.

The Department of the Treasury released a 57-page proposal that does not fully repeal Dodd Frank, keeping a crucial provision that allows the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) to take control of an insolvent bank and restructure it using federal money.

Treasury officials are recommending that the provision, known as the Orderly Liquidation Authority (OLA), be kept as failsafe in the event that one or more major banks are insolvent and could cause a major financial crisis. The Treasury Department lists a number of steps to ensure that a potential bailout would not simply be for investors but for the safety and stability of the financial system.

House Republicans voted in 2017 to repeal OLA and replace it with a bankruptcy process. Doing so would, critics argue, would undermine the central purpose of Dodd Frank — preventing major bank failures that lead to financial crisis.

The proposal does address banks filing for Chapter 14 bankruptcy, arguing for a more predictable, fair and streamlined process.

“The Chapter 14 framework would preserve the key advantage of the existing bankruptcy process—clear, predictable, impartial adjudication of competing claims—while adding procedural features tailored to the unique challenges posed by large, interconnected financial firms,” the proposal states.

Under the proposal, shareholders, management level employees and creditors would be on the hook for all losses under the bankruptcy filing.

Most of the process of repealing Dodd Frank has to go through Congress. The Senate focused almost the entirety of its efforts in 2017 to repealing and replacing Obamacare and passing comprehensive tax reform, but has yet to pass major financial regulation.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said in early 2018 that he would like to tackle Dodd Frank repeal in a bipartisan manner, which could help push the issue through the upper chamber.

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