The Volcker Rule: Curbing Risk or Curbing the Economy?

Financial Services & E-Commerce Practice Group and the American Bankers Associaton

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Obama and VolckerWhen President Obama, with former Federal Reserve Board Chairman Paul Volcker at his side, announced his intention to seek legislation implementing the “Volcker Rule” he described it as necessary to reduce excessive risk taking by banks. Easier to describe than implement, the Volcker Rule, as incorporated in the Dodd-Frank Act, was envisioned to prohibit the use of insured deposits by commercial banks in their own trading in the markets (so-called “proprietary trading”) or to support various types of investment funds. In practice, the proposed regulation is an incomplete first attempt to give life to the new rule, seeking public input on some 1,400 questions from the public in addition to input on the details of the proposed regulation. Advocates and critics of the rule will discuss the value of the rule itself as well as regulatory efforts to address the details of implementation. Proponents claim that it is necessary for future stability of the banking industry, while critics assert that it will not only harm the industry but industry customers as well.


  • Mr. Randall D. Guynn, Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP
  • Ms. Sarah "Sally" Miller, CEO, Institute of International Bankers
  • Ms. Coryann Stefansson, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP
  • Mr. Mark E. Van Der Weide, Division of Banking Supervision and Regulation, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System
  • Moderator: Ms. Hester Peirce, Mercatus Center, George Mason University