The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) have rolled back an Obama-Era rule meant to keep banks from making risky bets with their assets. The “Volcker Rule” was passed following the Great Recession in 2008 according to The Hill.
The Volcker Rule was passed within the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform law. The OCC and the FDIC are two of the five agencies that need to pass the new rule, but this is still a huge victory for U.S. banks.
Banks and advocates for banks have campaigned to lighten parts of the Dodd-Frank law since it was passed. Many argued that it was too convoluted and onerous.
“The new Volcker Rule finalized today is recognition that the original rule was overly complex and unworkable,” said Greg Baer, president and CEO of the Bank Policy Institute.
“The changes in the new rule will help reduce the incidental damage the original rule has done to responsible banking activity and legitimate market making activity, and the massive and needless compliance costs it imposed.”
Advocates for the Volcker rule, on the other hand, said the new rule does nothing to prevent another crisis like the one in 2008.
“As the threats from leveraged lending and global uncertainty increase, greedy Wall Street banks and Trump regulators are determined to put the financial system and working families in danger,” said Senator Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio). “Trump regulators continue to open a Pandora’s box of risky trading and speculation at the expense of American taxpayers”
Representative Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), who is chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee, said the rewrite “will not only put the U.S. economy at risk of another devastating financial crisis, but it could potentially leave taxpayers at risk of having to once again foot the bill for unnecessary and burdensome bank bailouts.”
On the other hand, FDIC Chairwoman Jelena McWilliams, a Trump appointee said the new rule “will provide more clarity, certainty, and objectivity around the Volcker Rule, while tailoring the requirements to focus on those banks that conduct the overwhelming majority of trades.”
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