While you were getting that pair of socks you always wanted, the government got an unexpected Christmas present: the first lawsuit seeking to nullify a portion of the Volcker rule, which regulators just finalized a few weeks ago.
Everyone assumed the banks would beat financial reform. They didn't
Everyone assumed the banks would prevail. They didn't.
“As a starting point, we think the Proposed Rule is simply too tepid.” That was how Senators Jeff Merkley and Carl Levin opened their February 2012 comment letter to federal banking regulators about the “Volcker rule,” designed to prevent large banks from making risky proprietary trades for their own profit, the kinds of trades that nearly took down the financial system in 2008.
The Wall Street Journal has an intriguing story today about the anxiety in the White House over $2 billion-and-counting loss that JP Morgan announced last week. At first blush, the reason for the angst isn't entirely clear. After all, the loss would seem to strengthen the case for financial reform, which, as it happens, the president signed into law two years ago, and which Mitt Romney opposes. To the extent that JP Morgan revives the debate over financial reform, it would seem to benefit Barack Obama. But, alas, the issue is more complicated than that.