Inside Financial Services

More Straight Talk From John Stumpf

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Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf analyzes the Dodd-Frank bill:

If you set someone up on Hennepin and 7th, and had them put up a sign and say, “Tell me what caused the downturn of 2008,” they’d be standing there for five more winters before someone said, “It’s those darned debit fees.” But they would say within three seconds that housing has something to do with it. Dodd-Frank has a big section in there about debit fees and not a word about housing. So politics is alive and well in Washington.

Hmmm. BofA presented for nine hours yesterday, and I didn’t read one quote from the event that’s a tenth as good as this one. That’s no coincidence. . . . Anyway. Stumpf is absolutely, positively right. Dodd-Frank is worse than useless. This kind of straight talk and clear thinking from a banking CEO-talk that’s pathetically lacking from (ahem) certain other executive suites-is one reason why Wells Fargo management, both past and present, is so well-respected and effective. And it’s why, too, Wells is can be counted on to be among the fiercest and most successful competitors among the big banks. Banking a commodity business? Forget it. . . .

What do you think? Let me know!

10 Responses to “More Straight Talk From John Stumpf”

  1. Mark Close

    I have no defense of the debit fee issue but Stumpf’s argument is a total straw-man. It posits that every provision of Dodd-Frank was intended to address the causes of the financial crisis. This is demonstrably false, The fact is Stumpf knows this and is being intentionally misleading. So yes, he’s a very pithy guy but also a disingenuous whiner. It was clear from the beginning that the Agencies would have to be addressed in separate legislation so there was never even any serious discussion about incorporating that in FinReg.

  2. Stays

    Hey Tom, how come you are not jumping down the throat of Mark Close? His response to your article is correct right? Stumpf knows all too well what he is doing – just mention the names Dodd and Frank and the finance world goes berserk. Smart move, but as Mark Close points out, completely irrelevant. And, of course, you fall for it hook, line and sinker. You are like tomorrow’s sunrise — totally predictable.

  3. Joe Waites

    I don’t disagree about the Dodd-Frank bill. However, Mr. Stumpf stated that he still wanted the government to be the backstop for mortgages, in the same speech. When will the banks learn to stand on their own two feet. There is no question that the banking community could build a consortium that would provide the same services that Fannie and Freddie provided, with the banks being the backstop for their own mistakes.

  4. John Vollrath

    Jamie Dimon is very good: John Stumpf is better. Warren Buffet and John Paulson seem to agree with me.

  5. non banker guy

    mr. close and mr. stays. maybe mr. stumpf was being pithy, but dodd-frank was framed as a savior for the economic crisis. if you gentlemen believe they actually did not mislead the public by saying that and they were simply correcting the banking structure, that is certainly your perogative. having said that, i suppose as consumers you are looking forward to all of the discounts you are going to get from retailers based on these savings on merchant fees. perhaps you also bought real estate in florida in 2007? at least think this through guys…… retailers keep the profits, bankers raise fees… who loses?

  6. Jack

    John Stumph for President to replace our DEAR LEADER and his coharts!!

  7. non banker guy

    sorry….before i get accused of being a dummy (although i may be) ….prerogative…. i need a bigger keyboard or smaller fingers…cheers.

  8. ballen

    Any legislation from Dodd or Frank, two deniers of being in any way party to the financial debacle of 2008, needs to be viewed with a jaundiced eye. Stumpf has it right and the recent past is his ally. Follow Frank’s and Dodd’s back-trails and you have to conclude their work is ongoing politics from selfservers who enjoy seeing their names in print regardless of how history may treat them. Thankfully, one is gone.

  9. Ed Vogelsinger

    We need more to speak up-too many cowards in banking!

  10. Tea46

    Massachusetts should be expelled from the Union for re-electing Frank to the House! Useless isn’t the right word…he’s incompetent!

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