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The Trump administration in the US has dismissed some of the penalties levied on the big five megabanks who were convicted and fined for manipulating global interest rates.

One of the Trump waivers was given to Deutsche Bank — which, coincidentally, is owed over $130 million by President Donald Trump and his businesses. Deutsche Bank was also fined for its role in a Russian money laundering scheme.

The waivers were issued in an official announcement published in the Federal Register on 28 December – the Christmas holiday week. As some have commented – they come less than two years after candidate Trump promised “I’m not going to let Wall Street get away with murder.”

Under laws designed to protect retirement savings, financial firms whose affiliates have been convicted of violating securities statutes are effectively barred from the lucrative business of managing those savings. However, that punishment can be avoided if the firms manage to secure a special exemption from the US Department of Labor, allowing them to keep their status as “qualified professional asset managers.”

In 2016, the Obama administration provided five banks — Barclays, Citigroup, JPMorgan, UBS and Deutsche Bank. In late December last year, the Trump administration issued new, longer waivers for those same banks, granting Citigroup, JPMorgan, and Barclays five-year exemptions. UBS and Deutsche Bank were granted three-year exemptions.

Is Dodd Frank next on the Trump repeal list?

The Trump administration seems happy to wallow in its claims that Hillary Clinton was in the pocket of Wall Street for doing well-paid speaking tours while ignoring the fact that giving favours to banks your business owes money to could be seen as corruption. However the matter will not rest there – Deutsche Bank has been seeking the US Labor Department”s waiver from the administration, it has also been under intense Justice Department. Federal prosecutors recently subpoenaed Deutsche for “bank records about entities associated with the family company of Jared Kushner, President Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser.” The Trump administration is still considering repealing the Dodd Frank legislation.



by Bill Boyle
IBS Intelligence Senior Editor