American Banker: The end of ‘In Gary We Trust’: Cohn’s departure a blow to banks

American Banker, March 6, 2018: The end of ‘In Gary We Trust’: Cohn’s departure a blow to banks

Banks are losing a pillar of stability within the Trump administration with the departure of Gary Cohn as director of the White House’s National Economic Council.

While many others within the president’s inner circle have quit or been forced out in recent weeks, few directly impacted financial services policy. Cohn is different.

The former Goldman Sachs banker helped usher in a tax cut bill, recruited industry friendly regulators and pushed back against protectionist trade policies financial institutions oppose. He also championed a regulatory relief bill for banks that the Senate is in the process of passing.

More than that, however, was that banks saw him as a top ally within the Trump administration, one who could deliver results while the president lurched from crisis to crisis.

“There has been a mantra ‘In Gary We Trust’ on Wall Street and part of that is that because they felt he represented a pro-market view inside the White House,” said Ed Mills, a policy analyst at Raymond James. “To the extent he is departing, there would be concern that his view is no longer able to win internally.”

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