Speculating on Presidential elections and credit unions

In less than four months voters across our country will elect a new president. Thus far, the election process leading up to each party’s convention has been one of the most hard hitting, controversial and yet fascinating ones to watch.

The presumptive nominee for the Democrats is former Senator, Secretary of State and First Lady Hillary Clinton. Having lost the nomination to Barrack Obama in 2008, she has been campaigning for the Presidency since that time and early on cleared the field of other candidates who acknowledged her high name recognition and ability to raise huge sums of money. In addition the early endorsements of Democrat leaders left potential candidates with no one to go to for support. Were it not for Bernie Sanders, Clinton’s path to the nomination would have been a cake walk and saved her millions of dollars. And if not for her email problems, she conceivably would be well ahead in the general election polls.

On the Republican side, the presumptive nominee billionaire businessman Donald Trump has blown out of the water every other candidate seeking the GOP nomination. His unique style of campaigning is unlike anyone has ever seen from someone seeking the Presidency. Political correctness does not exist. By speaking his mind and telling it like he sees it, Mr. Trump has raised eyebrows,  been continually criticized, caused individuals in his own party to denounce his views, led some to call for an open convention to choose anyone but him and yet has attracted millions of supporters from all walks of life.

So as we head toward Election Day on November 8, it is almost certain the contest for the highest office in the land will be between Donald and Hillary. And every indication is that it will be a campaign like we have never seen before. More books about this election will be written than for any other. And, it will either be one of the closest we have ever seen or a landslide for one of the candidates.

To try and predict a winner from what we have seen thus far or rely on the presidential polls that change on a daily basis would be very difficult. Actually, impossible. No one wants to be wrong in their prediction which is why even the most knowledgeable individuals who have covered numerous campaigns are saying it’s anybody’s game to win.

Rather than try and predict who will win, it is  a lot easier to speculate what the impact will be on credit unions and other financial service providers based on which of the two individuals wins. Looking at each candidate’s past history, views on business, close associates, statements made and philosophy of regulation, one can speculate if there will be any change.

If Donald Trump is elected I believe we can expect to see him support some of the recently introduced legislation that would require greater accountability from financial regulators. There would be proposed changes to Dodd-Frank (DF) and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) would get a makeover resulting in a major impact on the financial services industry. Heads of departments and agencies would be appointed who would follow the philosophy of as much regulation as needed and as little as possible.

In addition, if the Republicans maintain control of Congress under a President Trump, expect a new approach in how the federal government interacts with financial institutions.

If Hillary Clinton becomes President, one should not expect there to be much change in terms of financial regulation. A strong supporter of DF and the CFPB there would be no move to either dilute the law or restructure the bureau.

If the Republicans remain in control of the House and Senate expect them to continue introducing legislation for regulatory change but for it to be DOA upon getting to a President Clinton’s desk. Should the Democrats capture control of one of the chambers expect to see what we are now getting from Congress—not a lot.

So the scenario is predictable just by looking at what each candidate believes or has said. Throw in what the make-up of Congress could be and you have the game plan for how credit unions will fare over the next four years.

The primary voters have spoken, the convention delegates will anoint and then it will be up to the entire country to decide who will raise their right hand in January. Have you decided?

Michael Fryzel

Michael Fryzel

Michael Fryzel is the former Chairman of the National Credit Union Administration and is now a financial services consultant and government affairs attorney in Chicago. He can be reached at ... Details