Republican control of the executive and legislative branches of the federal government likely will lead to financial services deregulation, which would most benefit community and regional banks and create opportunities down the line for bank M&A.
President Donald Trump has been critical of the Obama administration’s approach to Iran, Russia and Cuba, raising the prospect of sanctions-related policy changes. Regardless, we expect continued vigorous enforcement of sanctions violations by federal and state regulators.
Blockchains have been heralded as a transformative technology with the potential to fundamentally change the financial system and any data-heavy industry, but the technology's implementation will depend, in part, on what regulations are introduced for its use.
The CFPB continues to aggressively enforce federal consumer protection laws, but a recent appeals court ruling on the constitutionality of the CFPB's single-director structure and Donald Trump's election threaten to disrupt the regulator's operations.
Potential repeal of the Dodd-Frank Act is expected to lead to important reforms, not wholesale repeal, of CFTC swap regulations governing areas such as reporting, trading, clearing and cross-border.
Unintended consequences on the broker-dealer industry, combined with promises from the White House and Congress to significantly deregulate the financial sector, open the door for the DOL’s new regulations to be reconsidered before they become applicable.
Other Regulatory Developments
Despite campaign trail comments suggesting an aggressive antitrust approach, President Donald Trump's appointment of Joshua Wright to lead his transition team suggests a tempering in the level of activity that characterized the Obama administration.
The EU continues to grapple with the issue of how "big data" should be treated in merger control and antitrust enforcement, including the issue of whether access to and use of big data confers market power in relation to a particular goods or services market.
The new administration is expected to take a multipronged approach to foreign investment. While most foreign acquisitions and investors will be welcomed, those presenting potential national security issues can expect more searching CFIUS reviews.
Despite President Donald Trump’s expressed antipathy toward regulation, he has indicated an interest in strengthening the country's cybersecurity efforts. It appears unlikely that his administration will try to dramatically weaken U.S. laws in this area.
Though some question the viability of President Donald Trump's infrastructure plan, his emphasis on private investment would require more frequent use of public-private partnerships, increasing opportunities for private sector participants and spurring financial innovation.
Mexico presents attractive opportunities for investors in renewable energy projects. However, recent changes remove important investment protections, making the assessment of curtailment and other risks more significant.
FERC Could See Substantial Changes Under President Trump
Because of economic and regulatory realities, FERC’s influence under the Trump administration may have the greatest impact on the rules governing the organized markets for electricity. That said, policy direction will come more from a new chairman than the White House.
The filibuster may ultimately prevent substantial amendments to existing environmental statutes such as the Clean Air Act, leaving the courts to decide the fate of recently enacted environmental regulations.
Replacement of the ACA is a top priority for President Donald Trump and Republicans in Congress. To what degree Democrats and interest groups can successfully oppose them remains to be seen; however, changes are likely to impact drug pricing and innovation and Medicaid.
The Trump administration has promised potentially seismic shifts in U.S. trade policy, with the likelihood of more aggressive enforcement of U.S. trade laws and negotiation and renegotiation of important U.S. trade agreements, among other changes.
The Trump administration is likely to substantially shift federal labor and employment laws, regulations and enforcement priorities set by President Barack Obama, which in turn may prompt more legislative action at state and municipal levels in some parts of the country.
Tax reform in the U.S. seems highly likely following the November election. In Europe, nations continue to increase regulatory oversight of cross-border transactions and push for transparency against the backdrop of Brexit.
President Donald Trump and the House GOP have indicated support for significant changes to the estate tax as part of comprehensive federal tax reform. High-net-worth individuals should consider the estate planning consequences of any such changes.
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