According to Bloomberg.com, CFTC Chairman Gary Gensler and Kara Stein of the SEC have expressed concerns that changes need to be made to the Volcker rule. Scheduled to be set in place by the end of the year, Gensler and Stein are worried that a section of the rule, designed to limit banks’ ability to engage in proprietary trading, contains a loophole that would allow banks to continue trading by classifying it as hedging activity.
In order to prevent this, the Volcker rule will be revised to clearly define what will be considered legitimate hedging and what will be considered proprietary trading.
Tightening the Volcker rule is considered by regulatory agencies to be important for preventing a financial crisis similar to 2008. However, many worry that doing so may heavily affect banks’ profits; Standard and Poor’s has stated that big banks may lose a total of anywhere from two to ten billion dollars a year depending on how the Volcker rule pans out.
Many are also worried about whether or not the Volcker rule will be ready to be passed by the end of the year, with these revisions coming last minute and the government shutdown slowing the CFTC’s ability to work on the rule.
It seems that most banks are preparing for the rule despite delays; many have already begun to halt trading and pull out of investments that will be outlawed after the Volcker rule is put in place.