Goldman Sachs Investors Love Donald Trump’s Treasury Pick

November 30, 2016, 10:32 PM UTC
Treasury secretary nominee Steven Mnuchin arrives at the Trump Tower for meetings with President-elect Donald Trump.
Photograph by Eduardo Munoz Alvarez—AFP/Getty Images

Donald Trump hasn’t always appeared to be the biggest fan of Goldman Sachs. But recently, Goldman Sachs investors have been really big fans of Trump.

Shares of the investment banking giant soared 4% in trading Wednesday, closing at levels the stock hasn’t seen since December 2007 as the president-elect’s Treasury pick, Steven Mnuchin, said he would do away with a major headache for Wall Street.

“So we want to strip back parts of Dodd-Frank that prevent banks from lending, and that will be the number one priority on the regulatory side,” Mnuchin told CNBC Wednesday. “The number one problem with the Volcker rule is its too complicated, people don’t know how to interpret it, so we will look at what to do with it, as we are with all of Dodd-Frank.”

That, of course, should be good for all the banks. Yet, Goldman’s stock soared more than most of the big banks. J.P. Morgan Chase’s shares, for instance, were up less than 2% on Wednesday. The only big bank that did better than Goldman on Wednesday was Bank of America (BAC). It’s stock was up 4.5%. The index tracking bank stocks from Keefe Bruyette and Woods rose 2%. In comparison, the wider S&P 500 closed down 0.27%.

So why do investors think Mnuchin will be particularly good for Goldman? Here’s one possibility: He used to work there. Before starting his own hedge fund, Mnuchin was a partner at Goldman Sachs.

Mnuchin’s comments are also roughly in line with promises Trump has made on the campaign trial to pull back on Dodd-Frank, though Trump also said he was for reinstating Glass Steagall—the law the separated banks from Wall Street businesses. Mnuchin has not said he is for that. And that would be bad for Goldman Sachs, which in the past year or so has pushed deeper into lending.

Even before Mnuchin was officially named Trump’s Treasury pick, bank stocks had soared on the businessman’s election thanks to those promises. Trump’s presidency, in part because his policies are expected to be inflationary, is also expected to be paired with further interest rate hikes from the Federal Reserve, helping banks pull in more revenue.


Trump also isn’t done pulling Goldman Sachs alumni into his inner circle. According to Politico, Trump is considering the bank’s current number two executive, president and Chief Operating Officer Gary Cohn for the position of director of the Office of Management and Budget.

Shares of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac also surged over 40% each, as Mnuchin suggested that the two government-sponsored entities could be privatized.

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