From our President and CEO

Elections Have Consequences … Some Good, Some Not So Good, Some Unknown

Max Cook, President and CEO Missouri Bankers Association

It’s always interesting to reflect on the hype leading up to an election. Depending on who you listened to, you heard the “Blue Wave” would lead to significant victories for Democrats down the ballot, or you heard Republicans would emerge stronger in congressional races and retain the presidency.

Talk about a mixed bag! Joe Biden and Kamala Harris appear to have won the presidency, but the “Blue Wave” never materialized. Republicans recaptured several House seats, cutting the Democrat’s majority down from 222 to 209. Tat’s 10 seats flipped by the GOP. However, a House led by Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi will most likely see a few changes within the leadership team and committee chairs.

Te Senate is where it really gets interesting. With the current math at 50 Rs and 48

Ds, the two seats in Georgia — slated for a run-off election Jan. 5 — will determine Senate control. Te GOP only needs to win one runoff to maintain control. If the Democrats win both races, they will control the Senate by virtue of the presumptive vice president breaking the tie.

Where does this leave us as a nation? Tat depends. If Republicans win one of the Georgia Senate seats, we will have a divided government. It’s not too different from where we’ve been for the last two years, and it’s a scenario I would take in a heartbeat! Why? A divided government would likely cut down on extreme legislative proposals making their way to Biden, who would likely have to advance his agenda through administrative action and regulatory fiat.

Where does that leave us as an industry? We’ll have to wait and see. Appointments will be made within the

Federal Reserve. Biden most likely will appoint a new Comptroller of the Currency and replace the director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Tis would lead to an entirely different board of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, potentially causing Chairman Jelena McWilliams to rethink her desire to fulfill her term. Trow in new personnel in various cabinet and agency positions, and you have a formula for a regulatory regimen very different from what we have experienced in the last four years.

No matter your political views, you likely found some good, some not so good and some unknown in what I wrote. Several things are fairly certain, though. Our industry is as strong and resilient as it ever has been. We will be just fine if we stay engaged in advocating for our banks, our customers and our communities.

And, I have great hope for our country. Paul Godfrey, Ph.D., of Strategic Insights recently wrote that “I don’t know what will happen next, but two things seem clear. First, Americans have, and will continue to have, different views of what type of society we’re trying to build. Tose views are strongly held and represent a real challenge to unity and progress. Second, as an antidote, most Americans seem to be driven by a fundamental respect. Respect for each other, respect for rules and laws, and respect for the power of reason. Tat gives me hope that we’ll be able to continue to build something great.”

Let’s all pray reason will prevail. No matter what, I believe we can continue to help our customers and communities thrive both now and in the future.


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