Manafort, in his comments about the platform, claimed that “the Obama-Clinton years have passed legislation that has been favorable to big banks,” and that Trump would “support small banks and Main Street.” This unabashed play for community banks is mirrored in the platform, which notes the sector’s decline from 13,000 in 1985 to only 1,900 today. “Community banks are essential to ensuring small businesses have easy and affordable access to the capital they need to grow and prosper,” the platform says. “Community banks should be relieved of excessive regulations.”
Why would community banks like restoring Glass-Steagall? Because a firewall between deposit-taking and investment bank activity would force the top six banks in America to break up. This, in turn, would bolster the ability of community banks to regain market share.
In addition, the announcement gives Trump a way to appeal to Bernie Sanders supporters, who extolled Glass-Steagall restoration as a key way to cut off depositor money from excessive risk-taking in trading markets.
A pleasant surprise.