Regulation: Volcker rules don’t apply

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On April 21, Donald Trump directed his treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin, to begin the administration’s long anticipated attack on the Orderly Liquidation Authority, created as part of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act to ensure the smooth management of US banks at risk of failure.

Trump has made a great deal of noise about attacking Dodd-Frank and Mnuchin is now tasked with making things happen.

As he embarks on dismantling Obama-era financial regulation, it is worth bearing in mind Mnuchin’s stellar credentials for the job. OK, he is a Goldman Sachs alumnus, but perhaps bankrolling and co-producing the recent Hollywood movie ‘Rules Don’t Apply’ with Warren Beatty is the most pertinent part of his CV for the task that awaits him. 

Absurd eccentricities

The movie follows the lead protagonists’ struggle to deal with the absurd eccentricities of wildly unpredictable billionaire, Howard Hughes. The latter is played on screen by Warren Beatty, but Trump could take up the role with gusto in real life. 

Mnuchin’s preparations for negotiating the finer points of the Volcker rule and Title II bankruptcy rules even ran to taking a cameo in the film, in which he is seen in stern-faced discussions with a glum-looking Beatty, whose expression is eerily familiar to that of the 45th US president each time he signs an executive order.

Mnuchin must be hoping his most recent billionaire-related vanity project pans out more successfully than his acting career. ‘Rules Don’t Apply’ was released by 20th Century Fox in the US in late November last year and made just $3.7 million at the box office on a production budget of $25 million. It was such a bomb, it was pulled from release after only four weeks and could return just $1.9 million to its backers.