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Fix the Volcker Rule

Jan 25, 2012
Carter Wood

From Reuters, "Rule-smashing lawyer sees Volcker cracks":

(Reuters) - The controversial ban on banks' proprietary trading known as the Volcker rule has big vulnerabilities and should be reproposed, or face possible legal challenges, a prominent Washington attorney said on Tuesday.

Eugene Scalia, a partner at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher who last year helped business groups win a court ruling striking down a major rule on board nominations, [[said] ... that regulators have an obligation to carefully assess the Volcker rule's economic effects.

"When you read the Volcker proposal document put forth, there are gigantic holes in (the regulators') understanding of the effect this is going to have," he said. "There are literally more questions than answers."

Also speaking at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce event, Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) called the proposal one of "the most egregious examples of legislative overreach in Dodd-Frank." See Bloomberg story, "Volcker Rule Changes in Congress Will Have to Wait, Corker Says":

On Jan. 16, Business Roundtable sent a letter to members of the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Capital Markets and Government-Sponsored Enterprises raising serious concerns about the proposed Volcker Rule. Excerpt:

While Business Roundtable supports beneficial reforms of the U.S. financial regulatory system, America’s business leaders are concerned that the proposed Volcker Rule would significantly reduce liquidity and beneficial investments in the capital markets, thereby harming the American economy at a sensitive time and potentially threatening the United States’ role as a leading financial center. At bottom, this rule will impose tangible costs both in terms of job loss and economic growth. In contrast, any benefits to the complicated new regulatory structure are undefined and have not been quantified. It is hard to see why such a market-dampening new set of restrictions is needed, and no analysis appears to have been undertaken to determine whether a less onerous rule could achieve the risk-reduction sought by Congress in enacting the Volcker Rule provisions.

President Obama in his State of the Union address Tuesday:

After all, innovation is what America has always been about.  Most new jobs are created in start-ups and small businesses.  So let’s pass an agenda that helps them succeed.  Tear down regulations that prevent aspiring entrepreneurs from getting the financing to grow.

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Senior Communications Advisor
Business Roundtable

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