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September 11, 2013

Volcker Rule to Curb Bank Trading Proves Hard to Write

Hours after being sworn in as Treasury Secretary in February, Jacob Lew pulled regulators into a conference room and delivered a blunt message: Get the Volcker rule done.

On Tuesday, half a year later, Mr. Lew found himself leading another meeting with regulators about the still-unfinished rule.

The Volcker rule, a centerpiece of the sweeping overhaul of financial regulation known as Dodd-Frank, is an attempt to protect the financial system from risk. It is simple in concept. Banks are prohibited from making investment bets with their own money.

But it has proved fiendishly difficult to apply. Five years after cratering financial firms ignited a global crisis, and three years after Dodd-Frank outlined the Volcker rule as a central part of the government response, the rule languishes unfinished and unenforced, mired in policy tangles and infighting among five separate agencies whose job is to produce the fine print.”

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Read full Wall Street Journal article here

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