Monday, January 18, 2021
On regulation, Biden promises a return to the aggressive and sometimes imaginative enforcement of the Obama era. His administration is poised to reverse Donald Trump’s deregulatory moves across the board. Environmental, labor, educational, and many other rules will begin to resemble their pre-Trump form. Biden will also turn back the calendar four years in finance. Some working in newer areas, like financial tech and cyber currencies, may be shocked. During the last great push for financial regulation, under Obama, these areas were so marginal in the financial landscape that they captured little or no official interest. That won’t be the case this time around.
Biden’s choice of longtime confidant and former Delaware senator Ted Kaufman to run his transition suggests still more severe financial regulation. Kaufman in the past has pressed for stringent requirements on disclosure, reporting, and transparency in how brokers handle stock orders and automated trading, and for tough limits on how much Washington can tap Wall Street veterans for high-level government posts. He even suggested amending the Dodd-Frank financial reform legislation to forbid banks from holding more than 10 percent of the nation’s deposits. Had his amendment passed, it would have forced the breakup or downsizing of some of the biggest banking names in the world. Biden also spoke during the campaign about establishing a Post Office bank, creating a government-run credit-reporting company, increasing access to capital in historically underserved communities, and extending mortgage lending to lower-income people.