On the first day of May, Donald Trump sat in the Oval Office and declared that his administration was taking a look at breaking up Wall Street’s biggest banks. If they ever took him seriously, it didn’t last.
Instead of cowering, Wall Street executives and lobbyists are crowing, getting more confident about ditching rules that have annoyed them for years. That’s because the Trump administration is appointing friendly regulators and signaling it will make life easier for bankers.
“Break up the banks? That ain’t going to happen,” said Rick Hohlt, who has advised and lobbied for lenders including Citigroup Inc. for three decades. “You need legislation to do that. And the chance of that is about zero.”
Two weeks after Trump’s threat, Wall Street’s hopes are high. The biggest U.S. banks want him to relax capital requirements that limit their leverage, lighten up on stress tests designed to help them survive another