Financial regulation

Banking on Trump

  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    The financial world is in the process of negotiating a new international framework on banking regulation and Mr. Trump’s appointment will heavily influence the outcome.

  • Facts


    • Daniel Tarullo, the U.S. Federal Reserve governor who led its work on financial regulation for the last seven years, has left his post.
    • He was a strong proponent of international cooperation on financial regulation.
    • Republicans close to Mr. Trump want the United States to unbind itself from regulation they believe is not in the country’s interest, posing a threat to transatlantic cooperation.
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Senate Banking Committee Holds Hearing On Wall Street Reform
Daniel Tarullo led U.S. negotiations on international banking regulation. Source: Getty

As U.S. President Trump struggles to staff his administration with sympathizers who will help transpose tweets into policy, the exodus of Obama appointees from the federal government and other agencies continues. For the financial world, one of the most significant departures was that of Daniel Tarullo, the Federal Reserve governor who has led its work on financial regulation for the last seven years.

It would be a stretch to say that Mr. Tarullo has been universally popular in the banking community. He led the charge in arguing for much higher capital ratios, in the United States and elsewhere. He was a tough negotiator, with a well-tuned instinct for spotting special pleading by financial firms.

But crocodile tears will be shed in Europe to mark his resignation. European banks, and even their regulators, were concerned by his enthusiastic advocacy of even tougher standards in Basel 3.5 (or Basel 4, as bankers like to call it) [an international regulatory framework for banks], which would, if implemented in the form favored by the United States, require further substantial capital increases for Europe’s banks in particular. In his absence, these proposals’ fate is uncertain.

But Mr. Tarullo has also been an enthusiastic promoter of international regulatory cooperation, with the frequent flyer miles to prove it. For some years, he has chaired the Financial Stability Board’s little-known but important Standing Committee on Supervisory and Regulatory Cooperation. His commitment to working with colleagues in international bodies like the FSB and the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, to reach global regulatory agreements enabling banks to compete on a level playing field, has never been in doubt.

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