The Volcker Rule to prohibit risky speculative bets by the banksters of Wall Street

Posted by AzBlueMeanie:

Wall.StreetFive years after the "masters of the universe," the banksters of Wall Sreet, who nearly collapsed the world's financial system and destroyed our economy with their reckless casino capitalism by engaging in risky speculative bets on securitized mortgages, derivatives, credit default swaps, etc., the final "Volcker Rule" to prohibit such risky speculative bets by the banksters of Wall Street using your federally insured customer deposits has finally been approved. Final Volcker Rule limits on bank trading released by regulators:

Government regulators adopted a sweeping rule Tuesday to prevent big banks from trading for their benefit rather than on behalf of customers, three years after the Obama administration called for the measure.

The “Volcker Rule,” named after former Federal Reserve chairman Paul Volcker, bars banks from making trades merely for profit and prohibits them from owning hedge funds and private-equity funds. The centerpiece of the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial overhaul law took years to complete as government infighting and intense lobbying by banks slowed the process.

Lawmakers devised the measure to prevent banks with government backstops such as deposit insurance from making risky trades for their own benefit, because the bets could endanger taxpayers. The challenge for regulators has been restricting such proprietary trading without impeding acceptable practices, such as firms trading on behalf of clients as market-makers or hedging their risk against fluctuations in interest rates.

On Tuesday, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. board as well as the Federal Reserve unanimously approved the final version of the rule. The Securities and Exchange Commission voted 3 to 2 in favor, while the Commodity Futures Trading Commission adopted it with a 3 to 1 vote.

Supervision will ultimately be the responsibility of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the CFTC and the SEC.

“Issuing a final rule is only the beginning of the process,” said Comptroller of the Currency Thomas J. Curry, at the FDIC board meeting. “The OCC will be especially vigilant in developing a robust examination and enforcement program that ensures our largest institutions will remain compliant.”

In a Statement, President Obama said, “Our financial system will be safer and the American people are more secure because we fought to include this protection in the law. I encourage Congress to give these regulators adequate funding to effectively and efficiently implement the rule.”

The 71-page rule (.pdf), a streamlined version of the initial 298-page draft, addresses many concerns about which activities and investments are allowed, but gives regulators flexibility for interpretation.

Institutions are allowed to take positions to help clients trade, but their inventories cannot exceed “the reasonably expected near-term demands of customers,” according to the final rule.

There are a host of requirements for bank to prove they are not engaging in speculative gambling, but acting to serve client needs or protect against market risks.

A key part of the rule calls for firms to conduct an analysis and provide a rationale of their hedging strategy to prevent another “London Whale,” the $6.2 billion trading fiasco at JPMorgan Chase. That blunder in 2012 turned the tide of the debate as supporters of reform gained the upper hand in calling for tough restrictions on risky hedges.

As analysts anticipated, the Fed has extended the amount of time banks have to conform to the rule by pushing the deadline back a full year to July 21, 2015.

By then, banks will need to have to develop programs to monitor compliance with the rules. The chief executives of large banks will have to attest in writing annually that their banks have a process in place to enforce, review and test the compliance program.

Institutions with at least $50 billion in trading assets and liabilities will have to report seven quantitative measurements, including the amount of risk that a trading desk is permitted to take at a point in time.

“The strength of the rule is the scope of the compliance regime,” said Marcus Stanley, policy director of Americans for Financial Reform. “The regulators correctly realized that most proprietary trading is hidden within supposedly innocent activities like hedging or market-making.”

He said the rule offers guidelines that are only as effective as the regulators that implement them.

Dennis Kelleher, chief executive of Better Markets, which advocates for financial overhauls, added: “Make no mistake about it: Regulators now own the Volcker rule. They have to aggressively enforce it, ensure it is complied with or answer for any future blowups.”

I am still waitng for "somebody's going to emergency, somebody's going to jail." Not one major bankster of Wall Street has gone to jail for this massive fraud that taxpayers had to bail out. The government has allowed them to settle for a mere pittance compared to the damage they caused to the economy and people's lives, and those banksters responsible are still working at their jobs — until the next speculative bubble they cause comes along.

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