Most Americans won’t notice. It passed in the shadow of James B. Comey’s Senate testimony, a supernova news event. There was no premature Rose Garden celebration, and there won’t be angry town-hall meetings coast-to-coast

But House Republicans on Thursday notched their second victory this year in moving to dismantle President Obama’s legislative legacy. On a 233-186 vote that earned no Democratic support, the House approved the Financial CHOICE Act, gutting the 2010 Dodd-Frank law enacted in the aftermath of the Wall Street meltdown. 

My colleague Renae Merle has a rundown of the Thursday action here, including a look at how the 600-page bill would ravage the financial regulatory regime. 

No actual changes are imminent. Like the much higher-profile health-care bill that preceded it, the deregulation package faces long odds in the Senate.

Longer, even, considering Senate Banking Committee Chairman Michael Crapo (R-Idaho) so far intends to work with Democrats on a version that can gather at least 60 votes, and the House bill is stuffed with non-starters for the minority party:

“There’s a less than five percent chance anything gets enacted through legislation,” Dan Ryan, PwC’s Banking and Capital Markets Leader, said in an interview. A banking lobbyist emailed on condition of anonymity so he could be candid: “This thing doesn’t have a pulse.”

Some smaller pieces of the rollback could still gain traction in the Senate, where Crapo on Thursday kicked off a series of hearings aimed at forging a consensus approach. “I could even stretch and say there are some good ideas in CHOICE,” Rep. Jim Himes (D-Conn.), a former Goldman Sachs banker who now leads the moderate New Democrat Coalition, said in a recent interview. “They’ve always been bound with pretty toxic stuff for Democrats.”

(What you need to know about the Financial CHOICE Act, in two minutes:)

Aides and lobbyists close to the process point to a handful of CHOICE ideas that may survive the trip across the Capitol.

Senate Democrats have expressed an openness to tweaking the annual stress tests that big banks now undergo; promoting capital formation by easing crowdfunding rules for startups; and paring back some of the regulations on regional and community banks.

Other major aims of the House Republican bill — relaxing the ban on certain proprietary investments imposed by the Volcker Rule, for example — could be accomplished by regulators.

And while Senate Democrats would strenuously object to any attempt to scrap the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau or the authority for the FDIC to seize a failing firm, both core to Dodd-Frank, Republicans in both chambers are eyeing pushing those changes through budget rules that would allow them to pass the Senate with a simple majority. 

Crapo is in no hurry. He’s indicated he’s aiming to pass legislation early next year. 


Comey basically called Trump a liar. Here’s why that’s a big deal:

-- Partisan affiliation appeared to go a long way toward determining how people viewed Comey’s blockbuster testimony Thursday. But investors, for their part, largely agreed that the former FBI director’s presentation was not as damaging as it could have been — or, at least, not so devastating that it further imperils President Trump’s agenda. Markets that had been braced for worse closed up on the day. 

PredictIt, the online prediction market, reached the same conclusion, showing the likelihood of the president’s removal from office dropping after Comey’s testimony. But U.K. bookmaker Ladbrokes reached the opposite conclusion, hiking the probability that Trump is impeached. [Correction: The original Fortune story cited here on Ladbrokes misstated the change in impeachment odds. This post has been updated.]

-- Trump himself was minutes away from setting a new record for his longest absence from Twitter since declaring his candidacy. Then he broke his silence on Comey's testimony by appearing to accuse the former FBI director of lying under oath:

Trump's tweet comes after Comey, in his testimony, accused the president of firing him over his investigation of Russia's election meddling and then lying about it. In so doing, Comey effectively laid out an obstruction of justice case against Trump. Congressional Republicans are floating a new line of defense for the president: He's just new to all this. After a momentous week, here's what we learned, and still don't know, about the Russia probe. 

-- Meanwhile, the pound is falling sharply against the dollar and the euro after U.K. snap elections denied a clear majority to either the Conservative or Labour parties, raising the specter of a hung parliament. Prime Minister Theresa May will stay in office to form a coalition government, the Associated Press reported this morning, but the results badly weaken the ruling party's hand as Brexit talks begin. May says she will keep the planned Brexit timetable.

The Post's Isaac Stanley-Becker breaks down what the election reveals about increasingly polarized British politics. 

JPMorgan Chase Chief Operating Officer Matt Zames, once seen as a likely successor to Chief Executive Jamie Dimon, will leave the bank in the coming weeks, and his duties are being split among other senior executives, the bank said on Thursday.
Business Insider
In the finance world, Andrew Left, 46, is what is known as an “activist” short-seller. After he places a bet against the price of a stock, he then publishes research designed to torpedo the company’s value, often by airing accusations of fraud or abuse. It's entirely legal, and he has an unusually high success rate.
New York Times
Facebook Inc. is seeking to boost advertising from the auto industry, a challenge because unlike movie tickets or shoes, consumers don’t really buy new cars online.
The company plans to cut 15 percent of the combined work force of Yahoo and AOL. A 10 percent surge in Yahoo’s stock price on Thursday will ease the sting for some of those who are laid off.
New York Times
Commercial real estate’s eight-year boom reached such breath-taking levels that even the Fed has been pointing it out as one of the reasons for tightening monetary policy. The Fed is worried because of the size of the sector, its leverage, and what it did to the banks during the financial crisis. And now commercial real estate prices are heading south once again.
Business Insider
House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) said Thursday he’s considering seeking contempt of Congress charges against the director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
The Hill
The Department of Labor just gave us a clue as to what it thinks of franchises.
By Danielle Paquette


  • The Heritage Foundation will hold a discussion on tax reform with House Freedom Caucus members at 9:30 a.m.
  • The Federalist Society will host an event on antitrust enforcement at noon.

Coming Up

  • The Peterson Institute will host a book launch on Monday for “The Right Balance for Banks: Theory and Evidence on Optimal Capital Requirements.”
  • The House Appropriations subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government will hold a budget hearing on Monday with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.
  • The Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs will have an executive session to vote on Kevin Allen Hassett to be Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers Pamela Hughes Patenaude to be Deputy Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. The vote will be on June 13.
  • Vice President Pence is scheduled to give the keynote address at the conference of Prosperity and Security in Central America. The event will be hosted in Miami on June 15.

If you missed former FBI Director James B. Comey's testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday, watch this recap of the day's news: 

‘Impeaching Trump could be a reality, prosecuting him might not be’

And here's The Post's Dana Milbank with an iPhone diary of his day following the Comey hearing: