Mnuchin To FBN: We can’t Fannie Mae Under government control for the next four years

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Mnuchin To FBN: We can’t Fannie Mae Under government control for the next four years

Fannie Mae

Photo by NCinDC

plan, it’s going to be a plan that the administration, the House and the Senate, all support. And we’re going to move forward on this. And it’s going to be a great plan that’s going to create growth in this country.

BARTIROMO: And we know that everyone’s anticipating that. We’ve seen the markets performance and obviously the markets are trading on this optimism that you’re going to make a difference. You and your team are going to make a difference.

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Mick Mulvaney has been pretty vocal about look we’ve got to take an axe to the entitlements. Where are you on the entitlements sir? Because I know that this is one issue where people say, that’s where so much of the money is spent. Can you give us a preview of what the priorities are in the president’s budget?

MNUCHIN: Well, what I will say is, the president’s priority and he’s commented on this, we’ve got to focus on our defense and make sure that our military has the capabilities that they need. That our borders have the capabilities that they need to protect the American citizens.

So I’m not going to comment overall on the budget. You’re going to see it soon. But I will tell you it does reflect the president’s priorities in what he has campaigned on and what he believes in.


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BARTIROMO: And one of those priorities obviously is military spending. People want to make sure that the country is safe. That’s his number one priority. Should we expect an increase in military spending?

MNUCHIN: Again I think that’s a good assumption Maria. The president’s talked about that. And again without previewing the budget, I will say the president is very focused on that issue.

BARTIROMO: And you’ve been so focused on the rollback of regulations Secretary Mnuchin. And I know a lot of business leaders are happy about that. Pushing to change Dodd-Frank. Can you talk to us about the specifics in rolling back regulations in Dodd-Frank? For example the Consumer Protection Bureau, people are wondering if that gets a lot smaller.


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MNUCHIN: Well, I’ll just say the Consumer Protection Bureau is just one part. I mean I think one of the biggest issues we talk about is you have the Consumer Protection Bureau, you have the OCC, you have the Fed, you have the FDIC. We want to make sure that these agencies work together. And that we have good regulation. That we have sound regulation. But we also have regulation that creates economic growth and makes sure that banks are lending.

There’s an extraordinary amount of liquidity trapped in the system at banks. And we’re all for banks being highly regulated but we want to make sure that banks are lending. That is the number one priority for us.

BARTIROMO: And that would also I guess also address the issues over the Volcker Rule and Proprietary Trading. Are we going to expect changes there as well?


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MNUCHIN: Well, you know I’ve commented on the Volcker Rule and again I think the number one issue on the Volcker Rule is we need more clarity around the definition of the Volcker Rule. And you’ve seen this even in the Fed’s most recent report on liquidity in the markets as a result of the Volcker Rule. It’s hurt liquidity. And that’s a concern to us.

So it’s not that we want to go back to proprietary trading, but we want clarity. We want to make sure that banks can focus on customer business. That they can execute this with proper liquidity. And again that there’s regulatory clarity around the rule.

BARTIROMO: Yeah. I mean that’s obviously one of the most important things. People want clarity and they want to know what the rules are. And for a long time they actually did not have that kind of clarity. Do you expect businesses will start unleashing new ideas, hiring new workers, investing in their business, once they do get that clarity?

MNUCHIN: I do. And the great thing about President Trump is he’s reaching out to a lot of people. He’s reaching out to big business. He’s reaching out to small business. So you know today we’re meeting with manufacturers. He’s met with retailers where he’s had feedback. He’s met with the airline industry; he’s met with auto dealers. You know and auto manufacturers.

So he’s getting a lot of feedback. A lot of real time feedback. So this economic team is listening and we’re focused on what’s going to create economic growth.

BARTIROMO: And that’s the first time that’s happened in a long time by the way. Businesses like the fact that they actually can make their case to the administration and you’re listening.

But you know there’s all this optimism about the tax reform package. Everybody knows that it’s so necessary. But there was some disappointment that you decided, the administration decided to do Obamacare first, repeal and replace.

And I know that, by the way, I just want to say I know that repealing and replace Obamacare is an enormous tax cut in and of itself. But why the decision to attack Obamacare before tax reform?

MNUCHIN: Well, again I don’t know why there was disappointment that that was being done first. That’s a big priority we well. Tax reform is complicated so it is taking us some time. And when we come out with the package, as I said, it’s something that we’re going to make sure we have a lot of support and we’ve listened to a lot of different people and you know I think it takes some time.

So I think quite frankly to have tax reform done by August is a very aggressive position and we’re going to get it done. But we weren’t ready to launch tax reform right away. And we were ready to take on the Obamacare issue. So I don’t see why you think people were disappointed in the order of that. And I think if you look at the markets, you know, markets are speaking in a lot of confidence in the Trump administration.

BARTIROMO: Well, that’s absolutely right. You can’t argue that. The markets are saying one thing and that’s absolutely true. But I guess this idea of this Border Adjustment Tax Secretary Mnuchin there’s a lot of debate about it. So that’s really what I want to ask you about.

I mean if the Border Adjustment Tax is creating all this uncertainty, you even have several Senator’s saying I’m not going to go there. I don’t want any Border Adjustment Tax, it’s too complicated. Do you have a Plan B?

MNUCHIN: Well, yeah let me just say that’s in the House Plan; we’re looking at it seriously. There’s certain aspects of it that we’re concerned about. There’s certain aspects that we like. And again, when we come out with the plan, it’s going to be a combined plan of the leadership of the House and the Senate and the administration. And it’s going to be something that’s focused on growth and we will have listened to people’s concerns and we will have taken them into account.

BARTIROMO: One of the issues is the plan makes an assumption about how the dollar will trade right? So sort of offset any major impact on those companies that will see

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