At this point there is little reason for those on the Alt-South and Alt-Right to have any faith in the Trump Administration. The latest retreat from the president’s populist campaign rhetoric comes from Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, a New York Jewish hedge fund manager and banker who has previously donated money to Al Gore, Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, Barack Obama and Mitt Romney – certainly not a nationalist or populist record. Politico reports that Mnuchin is counter-signaling Trump’s idea to break up the big banks which control the US economy:
The Trump administration on Thursday distanced itself from a populist push to break up the nation’s biggest banks after months of publicly flirting with the idea.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin emphatically rejected that move during a Senate hearing in response to a question by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.).
…Mnuchin, a finance industry veteran who’s leading the administration’s drive to overhaul Wall Street regulations, said splitting up the banks “would be a huge mistake.”
…Mnuchin’s comments put more daylight between the administration and the anti-Wall Street rhetoric that was a centerpiece of Trump’s winning campaign. The GOP party platform even included a pledge that stated, “We support reinstating the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933, which prohibits commercial banks from engaging in high-risk investment.”
Truthfully, I never expected the big banks to be broken up. I thought it was brilliant campaign rhetoric though and it helped to energize Trump’s base. It certainly excited me. I expected Trump to eventually compromise on this issue, gaining some reform measure in exchange for leaving the banks in tact. He could have dealt the banks a blow and left open the option of breaking them up at some future point and made this a major part of the Republican Party’s message to broaden its populist appeal. Instead, he has apparently given up on it early without any concessions. I thought Trump was a great negotiator? Was he ever serious on this issue?