Last week, it finally became clear that the Volcker Rule was as good as dead.
The Volcker Rule, named after Paul A. Volcker, former chairman of the Federal Reserve, is meant to bar financial institutions that are protected and subsidized by the federal government from trading for their own accounts. That is, it’s pretty simple: Traders shouldn’t speculate for their own personal gain using the money you and I pay in taxes.
“Most of the length, complexity and questions are in there because of industry lobbying,” said Dennis Kelleher, who runs Better Markets, a financial regulatory reform group. The rule is “the bastard child of the lobbying industry,” he said. “You can’t demand and insist and lobby for all these rules and exemptions and then complain that it’s too long and complex.”
The banks are making sure the rule stays incapacitated. By Mr. Kelleher’s count, of the substantive responses, 13 were pro-reform, compared with 300 from the industry.
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