Some Common Cents for February 3rd, 2017

Ordinarily, the Employment Situation report is the biggest piece of news the first Friday of each month. Today, it isn’t, even though the Change in Nonfarm Payrolls was reasonable enough, some 226K net new jobs. So, something else, something big, must have happened, and it did.

This morning, President Trump signed an executive order basically reviewing the Dodd-Frank financial system regulatory legislation. Ostensibly, and on its face, this is the proverbial first step in rolling back or repealing it. However, since only the Congress can actually rewrite/repeal the legislation, well, the order itself isn’t as powerful as its symbolism.

Since Dodd-Frank has exploded to over 20,000 pages of text, and still growing, any significant changes or line item repeals will take a month of Sundays. So, bankers can’t rejoice just yet. Further, and I can’t believe I am actually typing this, not all of Dodd-Frank is without merit. You know, it is kind of hard to argue with making our money center banks, the truly too big to fail, hold some additional capital, etc. You know? I mean the FDIC just doesn’t have the ability to cover those guys, period.

But, as I wrote to a reporter friend of mine about an hour ago: “Over 20,000 pages of new banking rules? Think there might be some redundancy and nit-picking in there somewhere? I am not saying anything, I am just saying; if you know what I am saying.” Let’s just say the number of rules mandating redundancies are redundant. …Read More…

The opinions expressed within this report are those of John Norris as of the initial publication of this blog. They are subject to change without notice, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Oakworth Capital Bank, its directors, shareholders, and employees.