Treasury Suggests Two-Year Phase-In For Volcker Rule

Mar 4 2010 | 1:39pm ET

Despite skepticism on Capitol Hill and antagonism from Wall Street, President Barack Obama made clear yesterday that he still backs the controversial “Volcker rule,” which would bar banks from the alternative investments industry.

In a five-page legislative draft sent to Congress, the Treasury Dept. also suggested a two-year phase in for the rule, which would also ban proprietary trading and mergers that would give a bank more than a 10% market share.

That period is shorter than the one proposed by Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), the head of the House Financial Services committee, who suggested five years.

The Volcker rule—named for former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker, a close adviser to President Obama—would forbid banks from owning, controlling or investing in hedge funds and private equity funds. Banks would also not be allowed to serve as a prime broker to alternative investments firms they advise.


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