Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

"Treasury consulted with banking industry groups at a ratio of 17-to-1 over consumer groups when formulating the report," noted Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) (Photo: Reuters)

Crafted by Wall Street Titans, Trump Treasury Plan Latest Consumer Betrayal

"We need stronger protections for consumers, but instead, this proposal is a toxic concoction of repackaged banker handouts," said Public Citizen's Lisa Gilbert

Jake Johnson

The Treasury Department on Monday released a report (pdf) that "grants Wall Street its wishes" by recommending the White House defang the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and severely roll back regulations established following the financial meltdown of 2008.

"The financial crisis had devastating costs for families and communities, and everyday abuses in financial markets cost people tens of billions of dollars a year."
—Lisa Donner, Americans for Financial Reform

Predictably, the financial industry met the report with enthusiasm.

But as Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) noted, the industry couldn't have been surprised by the report's contents, given that banking groups were consulted heavily during its creation.

As Brown wrote in a statement, "Treasury consulted with banking industry groups at a ratio of 17-to-1 over consumer groups when formulating the report."

Brown concluded by providing a list that starkly illustrates where Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, a former Goldman Sachs banker, looked for advice.

  • Government Entities: 18
  • Consumer Advocates: 14
  • Academics: 13
  • Think Tanks: 15
  • Banking Industry Groups: 244

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), who spearheaded efforts to create the CFPB, also denounced the Treasury's recommendations, arguing that they would "make it easier for big banks to cheat their customers and spark another financial meltdown."

The report comes on the heels of House Republicans' vote to pass the CHOICE Act, legislation that takes aim at Dodd-Frank and other post-crash regulations. But given that the bill is unlikely to get past the Senate, the White House is looking for ways to advance President Donald Trump's right-wing agenda unilaterally.

Though the Treasury report lays out many familiar GOP talking points on the need to relieve small banks and credit unions of burdensome regulations, most of the benefits would disproportionately go to the nation's largest financial institutions.

"Changes proposed by the Treasury Department include easing up on restrictions big banks now face in their trading operations, lightening the annual stress tests they must undergo, and reducing the powers of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), which has been aggressively pursuing bad behavior by financial institutions," Reuters summarized. "The industry has long sought many of the proposed changes, which would mostly benefit banks like JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N), Bank of America Corp (BAC.N), Citigroup Inc (C.N), Wells Fargo & Co (WFC.N), Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N) and Morgan Stanley (MS.N)."

Following the publication of the report, consumer advocacy groups were quick to react to what they deemed a sop to Wall Street at the expense of the public.

"The financial crisis had devastating costs for families and communities," Lisa Donner of Americans for Financial Reform told the New York Times, "and everyday abuses in financial markets cost people tens of billions of dollars a year."

In a statement released on Tuesday, Lisa Gilbert, vice president of legislative affairs for Public Citizen, called Treasury's proposals an invitation for "financial scam artists to prey on American victims."

"We need stronger protections for consumers, but instead, this proposal is a toxic concoction of repackaged banker handouts that industry lobbyists have pushed since the passage of Dodd-Frank." Gilbert concluded. "The report ignores the tremendous damage caused by Wall Street in the 2008 crash and the continued evidence—such as Wells Fargo's millions of fraudulently opened accounts—that we need tougher regulation and enforcement."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

'Resign or Be Removed': Outrage After Top NY Dem Compares Buffalo's India Walton to David Duke

"This is the malignant narcissism of far too many white men," said Congressman Jamaal Bowman.

Jon Queally ·


'Policy of Death': Amazon Guardians Sue Ecuador's President Over Oil, Mining Decrees

"We are fighting to defend our territory, our rivers, our forest, our fish, and our animals," one Indigenous leader explained. "Without our forest and without water, we cannot live."

Brett Wilkins ·


'Just Cancel the Debt,' Advocates Say as Biden Admin Develops Strategy for Restarting Student Loan Payments

Student debt cancellation "is good economic policy that will change the lives of millions of families," said Rep. Ayanna Pressley.

Julia Conley ·


Green Public Spending a 'Win-Win Opportunity' for Climate and Workers, Global Study Shows

"It's really a no-brainer for the federal government to prioritize green investments to put our economy back on track," said one advocate. "It's good politics and good policy."

Kenny Stancil ·


After CIA Plot Revealed, Press Freedom Coalition Says DOJ Must Drop Assange Case

"A precedent created by prosecuting Assange could be used against publishers and journalists alike, chilling their work and undermining freedom of the press," said the groups.

Julia Conley ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo