The immediate goal of the Volcker rule, which U.S. regulators approved after a troubled four-year gestation, is to end speculative trading by banks. It also has a larger ambition -- to tame the culture of excessive risk-taking that had Wall Street in its grip by 2008.
How does the final product measure up to those aims? It will displease bankers because it’s tougher than they expected. It will disappoint many of the banks’ critics, who had hoped for fuller retribution for years of bank-induced economic misery. It finds a middle ground, and it gets the main things about right.