Thursday, January 21, 2010

Could it Be that Obama is Waking From His Slumber - Plans to Implement Volcker's Suggestions on Bank Reform

This news just came out tonight. The WSJ is reporting that tomorrow President Obama is planning to propose new bank reforms based on Paul Volcker's suggestions. The reforms will include:
  1. New scale restrictions on the size of the country's largest financial institutions. The goal would be to deter banks from becoming so large they put the broader economy at risk and to also prevent banks from becoming so large they distort normal competitive forces.
  2. Place restrictions on the proprietary trading done by commercial banks, essentially limiting the way banks bet with their own capital. Administration officials say they want to place "firewalls" between different divisions of financial companies to ensure banks don't indirectly subsidize "speculative" trading through other subsidiaries that hold federally insured deposits.
  3. Rules could also keep banks out of the business of running hedge funds, investing in real estate or private equity, all businesses that have become important, profitable parts of these banks. The collapse of two highly leveraged hedge funds began the process that led to the collapse of Bear Stearns.
  4. The White House proposal would seek to return the "spirit of Glass Steagall," meant to limit large banks from becoming too big and complex that create enormous risk.
We hope President Obama has the courage to follow through, and does not begin back pedalling once the banking lobby takes over the airwaves in opposition.

No comments: