Volcker Rule Shredded By Trump Appointees

Facts matter: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter. Support our nonprofit reporting. Subscribe to our print magazine.

You remember the Volcker Rule, don’t you? It was the brainchild of former Fed chair Paul Volcker, who wanted to prohibit banks from proprietary trading—that is, betting their own money on risky investments. Volcker figured that prop trading should be done by hedge funds and investment banks, not by regulated commercial banks using house money with an implicit government guarantee.

Well, say sayonara:

The FDIC and four other independent agencies have dropped their proposal to tie the rule to a strict accounting standard — a move that banks argued would have made it more burdensome by subjecting additional trades to heightened supervision. Instead, regulators will give banks the benefit of the doubt on a much wider range of trades, according to the text of the final rule.

….The inclusion of the accounting provision in the original Volcker 2.0 proposal had been key in securing the support of Martin Gruenberg, then FDIC chairman and now a regular board member at the agency. Gruenberg, an Obama appointee, voted against the revised rule Tuesday morning, saying it would “effectively undo” the Volcker rule’s ban on proprietary trading. As amended, “the Volcker rule will no longer impose a meaningful constraint on speculative and proprietary trading by banks and bank-holding companies benefiting from the public safety net” of insured deposits, Gruenberg said.

What could go wrong?

THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

payment methods

THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate