Vexation gives way to pragmatism as Wall Street girds for Trump

Thu Nov 10, 2016 2:31am EST
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By David Henry and Olivia Oran

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Wall Street power brokers may have rolled their eyes in private when ex-Goldman Sachs Group Inc banker Steven Mnuchin agreed to be Donald Trump's national finance chairman, but now they are lining up to meet him.

Financial lobbyists and their bosses are hoping that Mnuchin and others Trump has enlisted as advisers will help convey their views and act as interpreters of the president-elect's so far at times confusing messages.

"This is different from a lot of elections in the past where you could say, 'If so-and-so wins, this will be good for that industry and bad for that one,'" said Scott Bok, chief executive of investment bank Greenhill & Co Inc.

"It's not like Trump laid out a clear set of policies where you can say, 'This is good for these types of companies and bad for those.'"

Bankers and their lobbyists are hoping their path to influence will become clearer in the coming weeks with Trump's cabinet appointments.

"It is a matter now of getting to the people who are coming in and convincing them of the benefits of some moderate deregulation to foster economic growth," said one industry executive, who declined to speak publicly about Trump.

During the presidential campaign, many people on Wall Street had supported his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton viewing her as a pragmatist and a stabilizing force.

Despite castigating hedge fund managers for "getting away with murder" on their taxes and making a vague pledge to strip big banks of their profitable trading arms, Trump has surrounded himself with financiers including Mnuchin and hedge fund firm bosses John Paulson and Anthony Scaramucci.   Continued...

A Wall Street sign is pictured outside the New York Stock Exchange in New York, October 28, 2013.  REUTERS/Carlo Allegri/File Photo