friday, 17 march of 2017

Trump team takes on Obama´s regulatory legacy

As President Trump rounds out his financial regulatory team, it looks like the Obama administration’s legacy on financial regulation could face some stiff challenges.

J. Christopher Giancarlo, a Republican commissioner at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission since 2014 and its interim chairman, has been nominated to run the agency.

He has broadly embraced the goals of derivatives regulations under the Dodd-Frank Act, but he has also criticized crucial portions of the fine print.

He will be one of the regulators helping to ease some of the rules of Dodd-Frank after Mr. Trump signed an executive order taking aim at the financial regulatory law.

That order directed the Treasury Department to identify whether existing regulations align with the administration’s goals, which include fostering “economic growth and financial markets,” and a core team of Goldman Sachs alumni has been tapped for the job.

James Donovan, a longtime Goldman Sachs banking and investment management executive, has been named deputy to the Treasury secretary, Steven T. Mnuchin (also a Goldman alumnus).

They will be attempting to overhaul the tax code as well as tackling the restructuring of the government-sponsored mortgage guarantors Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

The Fed

Today’s the day. Get ready to pay more to borrow.

The Federal Reserve is expected to raise short-term interest rates. Consumers will see interest charges increase on their credit cards, while rates on auto loans, home equity loans and mortgage rates will also start to creep up.

And they are expected to continue shifting up if the central bank follows through on signals that it will raise rates twice more this year. Here’s how it’s expected to play out.

Hudson’s Bay and Neiman Marcus

Neiman Marcus, the struggling high-end retailer, is in talks to sell itself to Hudson’s Bay Company, the Canadian retail giant.

The effort to go from rivals to siblings is part of a bid to adjust to shifts in shopping habits that have eaten into their businesses.

It is tough to run a department store — Amazon has conditioned customers to expect low-cost goods delivered quickly, while off-price stores like T. J. Maxx are taking business from traditional high-end retailers.

Hudson’s Bay has been trying to adjust to these changes by expanding its online business and shopping around for opportunities. (It had also been discussing a potential merger with Macy’s, another retailer facing weak sales.)

Neiman Marcus, however, was seen as a better opportunity with more potential savings to be made, The Wall Street Journal reports, citing people familiar with the situation.

(Published by The New York Times - March 15, 2017)

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