Economy

Treasury chief says US can achieve 3 percent economic growth

Treasury chief says US can achieve 3 percent economic growth

The Treasury secretary spoke Thursday to a Senate committee in his first congressional testimony since he was confirmed in the new job.

After a dramatic exchange at Thursday's hearing about breaking up the biggest banks, Warren followed up with questions for Mnuchin on the pass-through rate. "We think that would be a very significant problem for financial markets and the economy", he said. Warren asked. "What do you think Glass-Steagall was if that's not right at the heart of it?" The law was repealed in 1999. If we had supported a full Glass-Steagall we would have said at the time that we believed in Glass-Steagall, not a 21st century Glass-Steagall. A call to reinstate the 1933 law was included as part of the official Republican Party platform during the 2016 presidential campaign. One of Wall Street's loudest critics, Massachusetts Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren, has also endorsed the move.

Mnuchin said that before the hearing he had checked that Treasury staff "had fully responded to all the inquiries from you and the committee" and asked Brown to send a note reminding him to deliver the list.

"This is like something straight out of George Orwell", Warren said, while spatting with Mnuchin over the true goal of the Glass-Steagall Act. "It's actually a complicated question because there are many aspects of it", he added. "We do think there are potential things we could look at around regulation, but we do not support separation of banks and investment banks".

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"This is not about rolling back regulation for big banks", Mnuchin said.

WARREN: And it has been for three years now. Their legislation is called the "21st Century Glass-Steagall Act". "During the campaign we said we do support a 21 century Glass-Steagall". "It couldn't be clearer".

The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget also released a paper Thursday digging into detail about just how much growth the US can expect and the potential role of regulations.

During the latest reporting period, the Treasury Department found that none of the targeted nation had met the criteria for "currency manipulator", Mnuchin explained.

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"This is insane", Warren shot back, while wrapping up her inquiry.

"We no longer live in a world where the USA can set a corporate tax rate without considering what our global competition looks like", John Stephen, AT&T's chief financial officer, told the House Ways and Means Committee.

"Some people. want to go back to the old system, right?"

Despite the lack of specifics, all the comments have caused much consternation at the largest lenders, especially Bank of America Corp., Citigroup Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. He said an initial report on banking rules will be released in the coming weeks.

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