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The Editors

Drawing Bright Lines for Banks

What began as a simple idea aimed at preventing banks from gambling with taxpayer money has become one of the most-delayed elements of the Dodd-Frank Act. Regulators are squabbling over how to get the wording right. They would do best to just get it done.

Known as the Volcker rule, after former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker, the legislation has a laudable goal: Ban commercial banks, which enjoy government subsidies in the form of federal deposit insurance and access to emergency loans from the Fed, from putting taxpayers at undue risk by engaging in short-term speculative trading.