On the campaign trail Donald Trump pledged to help his “friends” if he were elected, but most people though he was referring to all his American supporters who wanted to “make America great again”. Last week, the president was more specific on who those friends are.
On Friday, Trump signed an executive order to reverse a 7-year-old financial reform legislation called the Dodd-Frank legislation. Shockingly, the U.S. commander-in-chief openly admitted the move would benefit his friends with “nice businesses” who cannot borrow money from banks.
We expect to be cutting a lot out of Dodd-Frank, because frankly, I have so many people, friends of mine, that have nice businesses and they can’t borrow money,
Trump said on Friday during a White House meeting with several U.S. CEOs.
The president explained his rich friends cannot get the money they need to expand their businesses because financial institutions “won’t let them borrow” due to the said legislation. Dodd-Frank, which Trump called a “disaster”, was designed to protect customers against banks’ abuses after the 2008 financial crisis.
The legislation also forces banks to have enough cash on hand to prevent a bailout on the backs of U.S. taxpayers and imposes a tighter scrutiny on those banks’ operations. Wall Street has said for years that the capital requirements and scrutiny bar them from lending as much money as they would want to.
Trump made the remarks in front of an 18-member presidential committee dubbed the Strategic and Policy Forum. The members of the panel are all business leaders who advise the president on economic problems. The group’s chair is Blackstone CEO Stephen Schwarzman while the members include the chief executives of Walmart, Pepsi, IBM, and Boeing.
During the meeting, Trump made a joke about how he assembled the committee. The billionaire noted many of his friends wanted to be members of the panel but few of them were accepted by Schwarzman.
Trump acknowledged some of his friends, who are “in big business” called him to put them on the committee. But when the president consulted with Schwarzman, the CEO told him that “corporate raiders” have no place on the presidential committee on economic issues. The other CEOs in the room laughed nervously at the remark.
Experts claim that the joke tells a lot about Trump’s character. It is obvious that Trump wants to help his corporate raider buddies now that he holds the nation’s highest position. Other friends are either those in the agribusiness sector who want to get rid of regulations and those in the manufacturing sector who want to scrap corporate taxes.
In addition, we do know that Trump rarely takes “no” for an answer. But from his story we learned he didn’t mind when Schwarzman refused to name some of his friends to the commission. Surprisingly, when the Blackstone boss told him he would lose prestige if he appointed those people, Trump ditched te plan.
Experts also think Trump will continue to appoint his friends in key positions, but his staff members such as Schwarzman will be the ones to draw the line for him. One of Trump’s friends, real estate mogul Jorge Perez, acknowledged Trump contacted him to help him build the famous border wall on the U.S.-Mexico border. Perez said he turned him down, even though he had helped the billionaire build his Trump towers in Florida, for a simple reason.
The wall is the most idiotic thing I’ve ever seen or heard in my life,
Perez told Bloomberg reporters.
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